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by Alexander F. Chamberlain

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Title: The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought
       Studies of the Activities and Influences of The Child Among
       Primitive Peoples, Their Analogues and Survivals in the
       Civilization of To-Day

Author: Alexander F. Chamberlain

Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7966]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on June 7, 2003]

Edition: 10

Language: English

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Produced by David Moynihan, Lee Dawei, V-M Österman,
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M.A., PH.D.




Dedicates this Book

 "Vom Vater hab' ich die Statur,
  Des Lebens ernstes Führen;
  Vom Mutterchen die Frohnatur
  Und Lust zu fabulieren."--_Goethe_.


The present volume is an elaboration and amplification of lectures on
"The Child in Folk-Thought," delivered by the writer at the summer
school held at Clark University in 1894. In connection with the
interesting topic of "Child-Study" which now engages so much the
attention of teachers and parents, an attempt is here made to indicate
some of the chief child-activities among primitive peoples and to point
out in some respects their survivals in the social institutions and
culture-movements of to-day. The point of view to be kept in mind is the
child and what he has done, or is said to have done, in all ages and
among all races of men.

For all statements and citations references are given, and the writer
has made every effort to place himself in the position of those whose
opinion he records,--receiving and reporting without distortion or

He begs to return to his colleagues in the University, especially to its
distinguished president, the _genius_ of the movement for
"Child-Study" in America, and to the members of the summer school of
1894, whose kind appreciation of his efforts has mainly led to the
publication of this work, his sincerest gratitude for the sympathy and
encouragement which they have so often exhibited and expressed with
regard to the present and allied subjects of study and investigation in
the field of Anthropology, pedagogical and psychological.


WORCESTER, Mass., April, 1895.












































Oneness with Nature is the glory of Childhood;
oneness with Childhood is the
glory of the Teacher.--_G. Stanley Hall_.

  Homes ont l'estre comme metaulx,
  Vie et augment des vegetaulx,
  Instinct et sens comme les bruts,
  Esprit comme anges en attributs.
  [Man has as attributes: Being like metals,
  Life and growth like plants,
  Instinct and sense like animals,
  Mind like angels.]--_Jehan de Meung_.

The Child is Father of the Man.--_Wordsworth_.

And he [Jesus] called to him a little child, and set him in the midst
of them.--_Matthew_ xviii. 2.

It was an Oriental poet who sang:--

  "On parent knees, a naked, new-born child,
  Weeping thou sat'st, while all around thee smiled;
  So live, that, sinking in thy last, long sleep,
  Calm thou mayst smile, while all around thee weep,"

and not so very long ago even the anthropologist seemed satisfied with
the approximation of childhood and old age,--one glance at the babe in
the cradle, one look at the graybeard on his deathbed, gave all the
knowledge desired or sought for. Man, big, burly, healthy, omniscient,
was the subject of all investigation. But now a change has come over the
face of things. As did that great teacher of old, so, in our day, has
one of the ministers of science "called to him a little child and set
him in the midst of them,"--greatest in the kingdom of anthropology is
assuredly that little child, as we were told centuries ago, by the
prophet of Galilee, that he is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The
child, together with woman, who, in so many respects in which the
essential human characteristics are concerned, so much resembles him, is
now beyond doubt the most prominent figure in individual, as well as in
racial, anthropology. Dr. D. G. Brinton, in an appreciative notice of
the recent volume on _Man and Woman_, by Havelock Ellis, in which
the secondary sexual differences between the male and the female
portions of the human race are so well set forth and discussed, remarks:
"The child, the infant in fact, alone possesses in their fulness 'the
chief distinctive characters of humanity. The highest human types, as
represented in men of genius, present a striking approximation to the
child-type. In man, from about the third year onward, further growth is
to some extent growth in degeneration and senility.' Hence the true
tendency of the progressive evolution of the race is to become
child-like, to become feminine." (_Psych. Rev._ I. 533.)

As Dr. Brinton notes, in this sense women are leading evolution--Goethe
was right: _Das Ewig-weibliche zieht uns hinan_. But here belongs
also the child-human, and he was right in very truth who said: "A little
child shall lead them." What new meaning flashes into the words of the
Christ, who, after declaring that "the kingdom of God cometh not with
observation: neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the
kingdom of God is within you," in rebuke of the Pharisees, in rebuke of
his own disciples, "called to him a little child and set him in the
midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and
become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of
heaven." Even physically, the key to the kingdom of heaven lies in
childhood's keeping.

Vast indeed is now the province of him who studies the child. In
Somatology,--the science of the physical characteristics and
constitution of the body and its members,--he seeks not alone to observe
the state and condition of the skeleton and its integuments during life,
but also to ascertain their nature and character in the period of
prenatal existence, as well as when causes natural, or unnatural,
disease, the exhaustion of old age, violence, or the like, have induced
the dissolution of death.

In Linguistics and Philology, he endeavours to discover the essence and
import of those manifold, inarticulate, or unintelligible sounds, which,
with the long flight of time, develop into the splendidly rounded
periods of a Webster or a Gladstone, or swell nobly in the rhythmic
beauties of a Swinburne or a Tennyson.

In Art and Technology, he would fain fathom the depths of those rude
scribblings and quaint efforts at delineation, whence, in the course of
ages, have been evolved the wonders of the alphabet and the marvellous
creations of a Rubens and an Angelo.

In Psychology, he seeks to trace, in childish prattlings and lore of the
nursery, the far-off beginnings of mythology, philosophy, religion.
Beside the stories told to children in explanation of the birth of a
sister or a brother, and the children's own imaginings concerning the
little new-comer, he may place the speculations of sages and theologians
of all races and of all ages concerning birth, death, immortality, and
the future life, which, growing with the centuries, have ripened into
the rich and wholesome dogmas of the church.

Ethnology, with its broad sweep over ages and races of men, its
searchings into the origins of nations and of civilizations, illumined
by the light of Evolution, suggests that in the growth of the child from
helpless infancy to adolescence, and through the strong and trying
development of manhood to the idiosyncrasies of disease and senescence,
we have an epitome in miniature of the life of the race; that in
primitive tribes, and in those members of our civilized communities,
whose growth upward and onward has been retarded by inherited tendencies
which it has been out of their power to overcome, or by a _milieu_
and environment, the control and subjugation of which required faculties
and abilities they did not possess, we see, as it were, ethnic children;
that in the nursery, the asylum, the jail, the mountain fastnesses of
earth, or the desert plains, peopled by races whose ways are not our
ways, whose criteria of culture are far below ours, we have a panorama
of what has transpired since, alone and face to face with a new
existence, the first human beings partook of the fruit of the tree of
knowledge and became conscious of the great gulf, which, after
millenniums of struggle and fierce competition, had opened between the
new, intelligent, speaking anthropoids and their fellows who straggled
so far behind.

Wordsworth has said: "The child is father of the man," and a German
writer has expanded the same thought:--

  "Die Kindheit von heute
   Ist die Menschheit von morgen,
   Die Kindheit von heute
   Ist die Menschheit von gestern."
 ["The childhood of to-day
   Is the manhood of to-morrow,
   The childhood of to-day
   Is the manhood of yesterday."]

In brief, the child is father of the man and brother of the race.

In all ages, and with every people, the arcana of life and death, the
mysteries of birth, childhood, puberty, adolescence, maidenhood,
womanhood, manhood, motherhood, fatherhood, have called forth the
profoundest thought and speculation. From the contemplation of these
strange phenomena sprang the esoteric doctrines of Egypt and the East,
with their horrible accompaniments of vice and depravity; the same
thoughts, low and terrible, hovered before the devotees of Moloch and
Cybele, when Carthage sent her innocent boys to the furnace, a sacrifice
to the king of gods, and Asia Minor offered up the virginity of her
fairest daughters to the first-comer at the altars of the earth-mother.
Purified and ennobled by long centuries of development and unfolding,
the blossoming of such conceptions is seen in the great sacrifice which
the Son of Man made for the children of men, and in the cardinal
doctrine of the religion which he founded,--"Ye must be born
again,"--the regeneration, which alone gave entrance into Paradise.

The Golden Age of the past of which, through the long lapse of years,
dreamers have dreamt and poets sung, and the Golden City, glimpses of
whose glorious portal have flashed through the prayers and meditations
of the rapt enthusiast, seem but one in their foundation, as the Eden of
the world's beginning and the heaven that shall open to men's eyes, when
time shall be no more, are but closely allied phases, nay, but one and
the same phase, rather, of the world-old thought,--the ethnic might have
been, the ought to be of all the ages. The imagined, retrospect
childhood of the past is twin-born with the ideal, prospective childhood
of the world to come. Here the savage and the philosopher, the child and
the genius, meet; the wisdom of the first and of the last century of
human existence is at one. Childhood is the mirror in which these
reflections are cast,--the childhood of the race is depicted with the
same colours as the childhood of the individual. We can read a larger
thought into the words of Hartley Coleridge:--

 "Oh what a wilderness were this sad world,
  If man were always man, and never child."

Besides the anthropometric and psycho-physical investigations of the
child carried on in the scientific laboratory with exact instruments and
unexceptionable methods, there is another field of "Child-Study" well
worthy our attention for the light it can shed upon some of the dark
places in the wide expanse of pedagogical science and the art of

Its laboratory of research has been the whole wide world, the
experimenters and recorders the primitive peoples of all races and all
centuries,--fathers and mothers whom the wonderland of parenthood
encompassed and entranced; the subjects, the children of all the
generations of mankind.

The consideration of "The Child in Folk-Thought,"--what tribe upon
tribe, age after age, has thought about, ascribed to, dreamt of, learned
from, taught to, the child, the parent-lore of the human race, in its
development through savagery and barbarism to civilization and
culture,--can bring to the harvest of pedagogy many a golden sheaf.

The works of Dr. Ploss, _Das kleine Kind_, _Das Kind_, and
_Das Weib_, encyclopædic in character as the two last are, covering
a vast field of research relating to the anatomy, physiology, hygiene,
dietetics, and ceremonial treatment of child and mother, of girl and
boy, all over the world, and forming a huge mine of information
concerning child-birth, motherhood, sex-phenomena, and the like, have
still left some aspects of the anthropology of childhood practically
untouched. In English, the child has, as yet, found no chronicler and
historian such as Ploss. The object of the present writer is to treat of
the child from a point of view hitherto entirely neglected, to exhibit
what the world owes to childhood and the motherhood and the fatherhood
which it occasions, to indicate the position of the child in the march
of civilization among the various races of men, and to estimate the
influence which the child-idea and its accompaniments have had upon
sociology, mythology, religion, language; for the touch of the child is
upon them all, and the debt of humanity to the little children has not
yet been told. They have figured in the world's history and its
folk-lore as _magi_ and "medicine-men," as priests and
oracle-keepers, as physicians and healers, as teachers and judges, as
saints, heroes, discoverers, and inventors, as musicians and poets,
actors and labourers in many fields of human activity, have been
compared to the foolish and to the most wise, have been looked upon as
fetiches and as gods, as the fit sacrifice to offended Heaven, and as
the saviours and regenerators of mankind. The history of the child in
human society and of the human ideas and institutions which have sprung
from its consideration can have here only a beginning. This book is
written in full sympathy with the thought expressed in the words of the
Latin poet Juvenal: _Maxima debetur pueris reverentia_, and in the
declaration of Jean Paul: "I love God and every little child."



A good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters.--_English Proverb_.

The first poet, the first priest, was the first mother.
The first empire was a woman and her children.--_O. T. Mason_.

When society, under the guidance of the "fathers of the church," went
almost to destruction in the dark ages, it was the "mothers of the
people" who saved it and set it going on the new right path.
--_Zmigrodski_ (adapted).

The story of civilization is the story of the mother.

One mother is more venerable than a thousand fathers.
--_Laws of Manu_.

If the world were put into one scale, and my mother into the other, the
world would kick the beam.--_Lord Langdale_.

_Names of the Mother_.

In _A Song of Life_,--a book in which the topic of sex is treated
with such delicate skill,--occurs this sentence: "The motherhood of
mammalian life is the most sacred thing in physical existence" (120.
92), and Professor Drummond closes his _Lowell Institute Lectures on
the Evolution of Man_ in the following words: "It is a fact to which
too little significance has been given, that the whole work of organic
nature culminates in the making of Mothers--that the animal series end
with a group which even the naturalist has been forced to call the
_Mammalia_. When the savage mother awoke to her first tenderness, a
new creative hand was at work in the world" (36. 240). Said Henry Ward
Beecher: "When God thought of Mother, he must have laughed with
satisfaction, and framed it quickly,--so rich, so deep, so divine, so
full of soul, power, and beauty, was the conception," and it was unto
babes and sucklings that this wisdom was first revealed. From their lips
first fell the sound which parents of later ages consecrated and
preserved to all time. With motherhood came into the world song,
religion, the thought of immortality itself; and the mother and the
child, in the course of the ages, invented and preserved most of the
arts and the graces of human life and human culture. In language,
especially, the mother and the child have exercised a vast influence. In
the names for "mother," the various races have recognized the debt they
owe to her who is the "fashioner" of the child, its "nourisher" and its
"nurse." An examination of the etymologies of the words for "mother" in
all known languages is obviously impossible, for the last speakers and
interpreters of many of the unwritten tongues of the earth are long
since dead and gone. How primitive man--the first man of the
race--called his mother, we can but surmise. Still, a number of
interesting facts are known, and some of these follow.

The word _mother_ is one of the oldest in the language; one of the
very few words found among all the great branches of the widely
scattered Aryan race, bearing witness, in ages far remote, before the
Celt, the Teuton, the Hellene, the Latin, the Slav, and the Indo-Iranian
were known, to the existence of the family, with the _mother_
occupying a high and honourable place, if not indeed the highest place
of all. What the etymological meaning was, of the primitive Aryan word
from which our _mother_ is descended, is uncertain. It seems,
however, to be a noun derived, with the agent-suffix _-t-r_, from
the root _ma_, "to measure." Skeat thinks the word meant originally
"manager, regulator [of the household]," rejecting, as unsupported by
sufficient evidence, a suggested interpretation as the "producer."
Kluge, the German lexicographer, hesitates between the "apportioner,
measurer," and the "former [of the embryo in the womb]." In the language
of the Klamath Indians of Oregon, _p'gishap_, "mother," really
signifies the "maker."

The Karankawas of Texas called "mother," _kaninma_, the "suckler,"
from _kanin_, "the female breast." In Latin _mamma_, seems to
signify "teat, breast," as well as "mother," but Skeat doubts whether
there are not two distinct words here. In Finnish and some other
primitive languages a similar resemblance or identity exists between the
words for "breast" and "mother." In Lithuanian, _móte_--cognate
with our _mother_--signifies "wife," and in the language of the
Caddo Indians of Louisiana and Texas _sássin_ means both "wife" and
"mother." The familiar "mother" of the New England farmer of the "Old
Homestead" type, presents, perhaps, a relic of the same thought. The
word _dame_, in older English, from being a title of respect for
women--there is a close analogy in the history of _sire_--came to
signify "mother." Chaucer translates the French of the _Romaunt of the
Rose_, "Enfant qui craint ni père ni mère Ne pent que bien ne le
comperre," by "For who that dredeth sire ne dame Shall it abie in bodie
or name," and Shakespeare makes poor Caliban declare: "I never saw a
woman, But only Sycorax, my dam." Nowadays, the word _dam_ is
applied only to the female parent of animals, horses especially. The
word, which is one with the honourable appellation _dame_, goes
back to the Latin _domina_, "mistress, lady," the feminine of
_dominus_, "lord, master." In not a few languages, the words for
"father" and "mother" are derived from the same root, or one from the
other, by simple phonetic change. Thus, in the Sandeh language of
Central Africa, "mother" is _n-amu_, "father," _b-amu_; in the
Cholona of South America, _pa_ is "father," _pa-n_, "mother";
in the PEntlate of British Columbia, "father" is _mãa_, "mother,"
_tãa_, while in the Songish _mãn_ is "father" and _tan_
"mother" (404. 143).

Certain tongues have different words for "mother," according as it is a
male or a female who speaks. Thus in the Okanak·ên, a Salish dialect of
British Columbia, a man or a boy says for "mother," _sk'õi_, a
woman or a girl, _tõm_; in Kalispelm the corresponding terms for
"my mother" are _isk'õi_ and _intoop_. This distinction,
however, seems not to be so common as in the case of "father."

In a number of languages the words for "mother" are different when the
latter is addressed and when she is spoken of or referred to. Thus in
the Kwakiutl, Nootka, and Çatloltq, three British Columbia tongues, the
two words for "mother" are respectively _ât_, _abóuk_;
_ãt_, _abEmp_; _nikH_, _tãn_. It is to be noted,
apparently, that the word used in address is very often simpler, more
primitive, than the other. Even in English we find something similar in
the use of _ma_ (or _mama_) and _mother_.

In the Gothic alone, of all the great Teutonic dialects,--the language
into which Bishop Wulfila translated the Scriptures in the fourth
century,--the cognate equivalent of our English _mother_ does not
appear. The Gothic term is _aithiei,_ evidently related to
_atta,_ "father," and belonging to the great series of nursery
words, of which our own _ma, mama,_ are typical examples. These are
either relics of the first articulations of the child and the race,
transmitted by hereditary adaptation from generation to generation, or
are the coinages of mother and nurse in imitation of the cries of

These simple words are legion in number and are found over the whole
inhabited earth,--in the wigwam of the Redskin, in the tent of the nomad
Bedouin, in the homes of cultured Europeans and Americans. Dr. Buschmann
studied these "nature-sounds," as he called them, and found that they
are chiefly variations and combinations of the syllables _ab, ap, am,
an, ad, at, ba, pa, ma, na, da, ta,_ etc., and that in one language,
not absolutely unrelated to another, the same sound will be used to
denote the "mother" that in the second signifies "father," thus
evidencing the applicability of these words, in the earliest stages of
their existence, to either, or to both, of the parents of the child
(166. 85). Pott, while remarking a wonderful resemblance in the names
for parents all over the world, seeks to establish the rather doubtful
thesis that there is a decided difference in the nature of the words for
"father" and those for "mother," the former being "man-like, stronger,"
the latter "woman-like, mild" (517. 57).

Some languages apparently do not possess a single specialized word for
"mother." The Hawaiian, for example, calls "mother and the sisters of
the mother" _makua wahine,_ "female parent," that being the nearest
equivalent of our "mother," while in Tonga, as indeed with us to-day,
sometimes the same term is applied to a real mother and to an adopted
one (100. 389). In Japan, the paternal aunt and the maternal aunt are
called "little mother." Similar terms and appellations are found in
other primitive tongues. A somewhat extended discussion of names for
"mother," and the questions connected with the subject, will be found in
Westermarck (166. 85). Here also will be found notices of the names
among various peoples for the nearest relatives of the mother and
father. Incidentally it is worth noting that Westermarck controverts
Professor Vambéry's opinion that the Turko-Tartar words for "mother,"
_ana_, _ene_, originally meant "nurse" or "woman" (from the
root _an_, _en_), holding that exactly the reverse is the
fact, "the terms for _mother_ being the primitive words." He is
also inclined to think that the Aryan roots _pa_, "to protect, to
nourish," and _ma_, "to fashion," came from _pa_, "father,"
and _ma_, "mother," and not _vice versâ_. Mr. Bridges, the
missionary who has studied so well the Yahgans of Tierra del Fuego,
states that "the names _imu_ and _dabi_--father and
mother--have no meaning apart from their application, neither have any
of their other very definite and ample list of terms for relatives,
except the terms _macu_ [cf. _magu_, "parturition"] and
_macipa_ [cf. _cipa_, "female"], son and daughter." This
statement is, however, too sweeping perhaps (166. 88).

According to Colonel Mallery, the Ute Indians indicate "mother" by
placing the index finger in the mouth (497a. 479). Clark describes the
common Indian sign as follows: "Bring partially curved and compressed
right hand, and strike with two or three gentle taps right or left
breast, and make sign for _female_; though in conversation the
latter is seldom necessary. Deaf mutes make sign for _female_, and
cross hands as in their sign for _baby_, and move them to front and
upwards" (420. 262). Somewhat similar is the sign for "father": "Bring
the compressed right hand, back nearly outwards, in front of right or
left breast, tips of fingers few inches from it; move the hand, mostly
by wrist action, and gently tap the breast with tips of fingers two or
three times, then make sign for _male_. Some Indians tap right
breast for 'father,' and left for 'mother.' Deaf-mutes make sign for
_male_, and then holding hands fixed as in their sign for
_baby_, but a little higher, move the hands to front and upwards"
(420. 167).

Interesting is the following statement of Mr. Codrington, the well-known
missionary to the Melanesians:--

"In Mota the word used for 'mother' is the same that is used for the
division [tribe?] _veve_, with a plural sign _ra veve_. And it
is not that a man's kindred are so called after his mother, but that his
mother is called his kindred, as if she were the representative of the
division to which he belongs; as if he were not the child of a
particular woman, but of the whole kindred for whom she brought him into
the world." Moreover, at Mota, in like fashion, "the word for 'consort,'
'husband,' or 'wife,' is in a plural form _ra soai_, the word used
for members of a body, or the component parts of a canoe" (25. 307-8).


Since the appearance of Bachofen's famous book on the matriarchate,
"mother-right," that system of society in which the mother is paramount
in the family and the line of inheritance passes through her, has
received much attention from students of sociology and primitive

Post thus defines the system of mother-right:--

"The matriarchate is a system of relationship according to which the
child is related only to his mother and to the persons connected with
him through the female line, while he is looked upon as not related to
his father and the persons connected with him through the male line.
According to this system, therefore, the narrowest family circle
consists not, as with us to-day, of father, mother, and child, but of
mother, mother's brother, and sister's child, whilst the father is
completely wanting, and the mother's brother takes the father's place
with the sister's children. The real father is not the father of his own
children, but of his nephews and nieces, whilst the brother of his wife
is looked upon as father to his children. The brothers and sisters of
the mother form with her a social group, to which belong also the
children of the sisters, the children of the daughters of the sisters,
etc., but not the children of the brothers, the children of the sisters'
sons, etc. With every husband the relationship ceases" (127. I. 13-14).

The system of mother-right prevails widely over the whole globe; in some
places, however, only in fragmentary condition. It is found amongst
nearly all the native tribes of America; the peoples of Malaysia,
Melanesia, Australia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, the Dravidian tribes of
India; in Africa it is found in the eastern Sahara, the Soudan, the east
and west coast, and in the centre of the continent, but not to the
exclusion, altogether, of father-right, while in the north the intrusion
of Europeans and the followers of Islam has tended to suppress it.
Traces of its former existence are discovered among certain of the
ancient tribes of Asia Minor, the old Egyptians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans,
Teutons, the Aryans of India, the Chinese, Japanese, etc.

Mother-right has been recognized by many sociologists as a system of
family relationship, perhaps the most widespread, perhaps the most
primitive of all. Dr. Brinton says:--

"The foundation of the gentile system, as of any other family life, is
... the mutual affection between kindred. In the primitive period this
is especially between children of the same mother, not so much because
of the doubt of paternity, as because physiologically and obviously, it
is the mother in whom is formed, and from whom alone proceeds, the
living being" (412. 47).

Professor O. T. Mason, in the course of his interesting address on
"Woman's Share in Primitive Culture," remarks (112. 10):--

"Such sociologists as Morgan and McLennan affirm that the primitive
society had no family organization at all. They hypothecate a condition
in which utter promiscuity prevailed. I see no necessity for this. There
is some organization among insects. Birds mate and rear a little family.
Many animals set up a kind of patriarchal horde. On the other hand, they
err greatly who look among savages for such permanent home life as we
enjoy. Marriages are in groups, children are the sons and daughters of
these groups; divorces are common. The fathers of the children are not
known, and if they were, they would have no authority on that account.
The mother never changes her name, the children are named after her, or,
at least, are not named after the father. The system of gentes prevails,
each gens consisting of a hypothetical female ancestress, and all her
descendants through females. These primitive men and women, having no
other resort, hit upon this device to hold a band of kin together. Here
was the first social tie on earth; the beginning of the state. The first
empire was a woman and her children, regardless of paternity. This was
the beginning of all the social bonds which unite us. Among our own
Indians mother-right was nearly universal. Upon the death of a chief
whose office was hereditary, he was succeeded, not by his son, but by
the son of a sister, or an aunt, or a niece; all his property that was
not buried with him fell to the same parties, could not descend to his
children, since a child and the father belonged to different gentes."
McLennan has discussed at some length the subject of kinship in ancient
Greece (115. 193-246), and maintains that "the system of double kinship,
which prevailed in the time of Homer, was preceded by a system of
kinship through females only," referring to the cases of Lycaon,
Tlepolemus, Helen, Arnaeus, Glaucus, and Sarpedon, besides the evidence
in the _Orestes_ of Euripides, and the _Eumenides_ of
Aeschylus. In the last, "the jury are equally divided on the plea [that
Orestes was not of kin to his mother, Clytemnestra, whom he had killed,
--"Do you call _me_ related by blood to my mother?"], and Orestes
gains his cause by the casting vote of Athene." According to tradition,
"in Greece, before the time of Cecrops, children always bore the name of
their mothers," in marked contrast to tha state of affairs in Sparta,
where, according to Philo, "the marriage tie was so loose that men lent
their wives to one another, and cared little by whom children were
begotten, provided they turned out strong and healthy."

We have preserved for us, by Plutarch and others, some of the opinions
of Greek philosophers on the relation of the father and the mother to
the child. Plato is represented as calling "mind the conception, idea,
model, and _father_; and matter the mother, _nurse_, or seat
and region capable of births." Chrysippus is said to have stated: "The
foetus is nourished in the womb like a plant; but, being born, is
refrigerated and hardened by the air, and its spirit being changed it
becomes an animal," a view which, as McLennan points out, "constitutes
the mother the mere nurse of her child, just as a field is of the seed
sown in it."

The view of Apollo, which, in the council of the gods, influenced Athene
to decide for Orestes, is this:--

"The bearer of the so-called offspring is not _the mother_ of it,
but only the nurse of the newly conceived foetus. It is the male who is
the author of its being; while she, as a stranger, for a stranger,
preserves the young plant for those for whom the god has not blighted it
in the bud. And I will show you a proof of this assertion; one
_may_ become a father without a mother. There stands by a witness
of this in the daughter of Olympian Zeus, who was not even nursed [much
less engendered or begotten] in the darkness of the womb" (115. 211).
"This is akin to the wild discussion in the misogynistic Middle Ages
about the possibility of _lucina sine concubitu_. The most recent
and most scholarly discussion of all questions involved in
"mother-right" will be found people in the world; for it stands on
record that the five companies (five hundred men) recruited from the
Iroquois of New York and Canada during our civil war stood first on the
list among all the recruits of our army for height, vigour, and
corporeal symmetry" (412. 82). And it was this people too who produced
Hiawatha, a philosophic legislator and reformer, worthy to rank with
Solon and Lycurgus, and the founder of a great league whose object was
to put an end to war, and unite all the nations in one bond of
brotherhood and peace.

Among the Choctaw-Muskogee tribes, women-chiefs were also known; the
Yuchis, Chetimachas, had "Queens"; occasionally we find female rulers
elsewhere in America, as among the Winnebagos, the Nah-ane, etc.
Scattered examples of gynocracy are to be found in other parts of the
world, and in their later development some of the Aryan races have been
rather partial to women as monarchs, and striking instances of a like
predilection are to be met with among the Semitic tribes,--Boadicea,
Dido, Semiramis, Deborah are well-known cases in point, to say nothing
of the Christian era and its more enlightened treatment of woman.

The fate of women among those peoples and in those ages where extreme
exaltation of the male has been the rule, is sketched by Letourneau in
his chapter on _The Condition of Women_ (100. 173-185); the
contrast between the Australians, to whom "woman is a domestic animal,
useful for the purposes of genesic pleasure, for reproduction, and, in
case of famine, for food," the Chinese, who can say "a newly-married
woman ought to be merely as a shadow and as an echo in the house," the
primitive Hindus, who forbade the wife to call her husband by name, but
made her term him "master, lord," or even "god," and even some of our
modern races in the eye of whose law women are still minors, and the
Iroquois, is remarkable. Such great differences in the position and
rights of women, existing through centuries, over wide areas of the
globe, have made the study of comparative pedagogy a most important
branch of human sociology. The mother as teacher has not been, and is
not now, the same the world over.

As men holding supreme power have been termed "father," women have in
like manner been called "mother." The title of the queen-mother in
Ashanti is _nana,_ "Grandmother" (438. 259), and to some of the
Indian tribes of Canada Queen Victoria is the "Great White Mother," the
"Great Mother across the Sea." In Ashanti the "rich, prosperous, and
powerful" are termed _oman enna,_ "mothers of the tribe," and are
expected to make suitably large offerings to the dead, else there will
be no child born in the neglectful family for a certain period (438.

With the Romans, _mater_ and its derivative _matrona,_ came to
be applied as titles of honour; and beside the rites of the
_parentalia_ we find those of the _matronalia_ (492. 454).

In the ancient Hebrew chronicles we find mention of Deborah, that
"mother in Israel."

With us, off whose tongues "the fathers," "forefathers," "ancestors"
(hardly including ancestresses) and the like rolled so glibly, the
"Pilgrim Fathers" were glorified long before the "Pilgrim Mothers," and
hardly yet has the mother of the "father of his country" received the
just remembrance and recognition belonging to her who bore so noble and
so illustrious a son. By and by, however, it is to be hoped, we shall be
free from the reproach cast upon us by Colonel Higginson, and wake up to
the full consciousness that the great men of our land have had mothers,
and proceed to re-write our biographical dictionaries and encyclopædias
of life-history.

In Latin _mater,_ as does _mother_ with us, possessed a wide
extent of meaning, "mother, parent, producer, nurse, preparer, cause,
origin, source," etc. _Mater omnium artium necessitas,_ "Necessity
is the mother of invention," and similar phrases were in common use, as
they are also in the languages of to-day. Connected with _mater_ is
_materia,_ "matter,"--_mother_-stuff, perhaps,--and from it
is derived _matrimonium,_ which testifies concerning primitive
Roman sociology, in which the mother-idea must have been prominent,
something we cannot say of our word _marriage,_ derived ultimately
from the Latin _mas,_ "a male."

Westermarck notes the Nicaraguans, Dyaks, Minahassers, Andaman
Islanders, Pádam, Munda Kols, Santals, Moors of the Western Soudan,
Tuaregs, Teda, among the more or less primitive peoples with whom woman
is held in considerable respect, and sometimes, as among the Munda Kols,
bears the proud title "mistress of the house" (166. 500, 501). As
Havelock Ellis remarks, women have shown themselves the equals of men as
rulers, and most beneficial results have flowed from their exercise of
the great political wisdom, and adaptation to statecraft which seems to
belong especially to the female sex. The household has been a
training-school for women in the more extended spheres of human
administrative society.

_Alma Mater._

The college graduate fondly calls the institution from which he has
obtained his degree _Alma Mater_, "nourishing, fostering,
cherishing mother," and he is her _alumnus_ (foster-child,
nourished one). For long years the family of the benign and gracious
mother, whose wisdom was lavished upon her children, consisted of sons
alone, but now, with the advent of "sweeter manners, purer laws,"
daughters have come to her also, and the _alumnae_, "the sweet
girl-graduates in their golden hair," share in the best gifts their
parent can bestow. To Earth also, the term _Alma Mater_ has been
applied, and the great nourishing mother of all was indeed the first
teacher of man, the first university of the race.

_Alma, alumnus, alumna_, are all derived from _alo_, "I
nourish, support." From the radical _al_, following various trains
of thought, have come: _alesco_, "I grow up"; _coalesco_, "I
grow together"; _adolesco_, "I grow up,"--whence _adolescent_,
etc.; _obsolesco_, "I wear out"; _alimentum_, "food";
_alimonium_, "support"; _altor, altrix_, "nourisher";
_altus_, "high, deep" (literally, "grown"); _elementum_,
"first principle," etc. Connected With _adolesco_ is
_adultus_, whence our _adult_, with the radical of which the
English word _old_ (_eld_) is cognate. From the root
_al_, "to grow, to make to grow, to nourish," spring also the Latin
words _prôles_, "offspring," _suboles_, "offspring, sprout,"
_indôles_, "inborn or native quality."

_"Mother's Son."_

The familiar expression "every mother's son of us" finds kin in the
Modern High German _Muttersohn, Mutterkind_, which, with the even
more significant _Muttermensch_ (human being), takes us back to the
days of "mother-right." Rather different, however, is the idea called up
by the corresponding Middle Low German _modersone_, which means
"bastard, illegitimate child."

_Lore of Motherhood_

A synonym of _Muttermensch_ is _Mutterseele_, for soul and man
once meant pretty much, the same. The curious expression
_mutterseelenallein_, "quite alone; alone by one's self," is given
a peculiar interpretation by Lippert, who sees in it a relic of the
burial of the dead (soul) beneath the hearth, threshold, or floor of the
house; "wessen Mutter im Hause ruht, der kann daheim immer nur mit
seiner Mutterseele selbander allein sein." Or, perhaps, it goes back to
the time when, as with the Seminoles of Florida, the babe was held over
the mouth of the mother, whose death resulted from its birth, in order
that her departing spirit might enter the new being.

In German, the "mother-feeling" makes its influence felt in the
nomenclature of the lower brute creation. As contrasted with our English
female donkey (she-donkey), mare, ewe, ewe-lamb, sow, doe-hare (female
hare), queen-bee, etc., we find _Mutteresel_, "mother-donkey ";
_Mutterpferd_, "mother-horse"; _Mutterschaf_, "mother-sheep";
_Mutterlamm_, "mother lamb"; _Mutterschwein_, "mother swine";
_Mutterhase_, "mother-hare"; _Mutterbiene_, "mother-bee."

Nor is this feeling absent from the names of plants and things
inanimate. We have _Mutterbirke_, "birch"; _Mutterblume_,
"seed-flower"; _Mutternelke_, "carnation"; _Mutternagelein_
(our "mother-clove"); _Mutterholz_. In English we have "mother of
thyme," etc. In Japan a triple arrangement in the display of the
flower-vase--a floral trinity--is termed _chichi_, "father";
_haha_, "mother"; _ten_, "heaven" (189. 74).

In the nursery-lore of all peoples, as we can see from the fairy-tales
and child-stories in our own and other languages, this attribution of
motherhood to all things animate and inanimate is common, as it is in
the folk-lore and mythology of the adult members of primitive races now

_Mother Poet._

The arts of poetry, music, dancing, according to classic mythology, were
presided over by nine goddesses, or Muses, daughters of Mnemosyne,
goddess of memory, "Muse-mother," as Mrs. Browning terms her. The
history of woman as a poet has yet to be written, but to her in the
early ages poetry owed much of its development and its beauty. Mr. Vance
has remarked that "among many of the lowest races the only love-dances
in vogue are those performed by the women" (545a. 4069). And Letourneau
considers that "there are good grounds for supposing that women may have
especially participated in the creation of the lyric of the erotic
kind." Professor Mason, in the course of his remarks upon woman's labour
in the world in all ages, says (112. 12):--

"The idea of a _maker_, or creator-of-all-things found no congenial
soil in the minds of savage men, who manufactured nothing. But, as the
first potters, weavers, house-builders were women, the idea of a divine
creator as a moulder, designer, and architect originated with her, or
was suggested by her. The three Fates, Clotho, who spins the thread of
life; Lachesis, who fixes its prolongation; and Atropos, who cuts this
thread with remorseless shears, are necessarily derived from woman's
work. The mother-goddess of all peoples, culminating in the apotheosis
of the Virgin Mary, is an idea, either originated by women, or devised
to satisfy their spiritual cravings."

And we have, besides the goddesses of all mythologies, personifying
woman's devotion, beauty, love. What shall we say of that art, highest
of all human accomplishments, in the exercise of which men have become
almost as gods? The old Greeks called the singer [Greek: poiaetaes],
"maker," and perhaps from woman the first poets learned how to worship
in noble fashion that great _maker_ of all, whose poem is the
universe. Religion and poetry have ever gone hand in hand; Plato was
right when he said: "I am persuaded, somehow, that good poets are the
inspired interpreters of the gods." Of song, as of religion, it may
perhaps be said: _Dux foemina facti_.

To the mother beside the cradle where lies her tender offspring, song is
as natural as speech itself to man. Lullabies are found in every land;
everywhere the joyous mother-heart bursts forth into song. The German
proverb is significant: "Wer ein saugendes Kind hat, der hat eine
singende Frau," and Fischer, a quaint poet of the sixteenth century, has
beautifully expressed a like idea:--

"Wo Honig ist, da sammlen sieb die Fliegen, Wo Kinder sind, da singt man
um die Wiegen."

Ploss, in whose book is to be found a choice collection of lullabies
from all over the globe, remarks: "The folk-poetry of all peoples is
rich in songs whose texts and melodies the tender mother herself
imagined and composed" (326. II. 128).

The Countess Martinengo-Cesaresco devotes an interesting chapter of her
_Essays in the Study of Folk-Song_ to the subject of lullabies. But
not cradle-songs alone have sprung from woman's genius. The world over,
dirges and funeral-laments have received their poetical form from the
mother. As name-giver, too, in many lands, the mother exercised this
side of her imaginative faculty. The mother and the child, from whom
language received its chief inspiration, were also the callers forth of
its choicest and most creative form.


"An ounce o' mother-wit is worth a pound o' clergy," says the Scotch
proverb, and the "mother-wit," _Muttergeist_ and _Mutterwitz_,
that instructive common-sense, that saving light that make the genius
and even the fool, in the midst of his folly, wise, appear in folk-lore
and folk-speech everywhere. What the statistics of genius seem to show
that great men owe to their mothers, no less than fools, is summed up by
the folk-mind in the word _mother-wit_. Jean Paul says: "Die Mütter
geben uns von Geiste Wãrme und die Vãter Licht," and Goethe, in a
familiar passage in his _Autobiography_, declares:--

  "Vom Vater hab'ich die Statur,
  Des Lebens ernstes Führen;
  Vom Mütterchen die Frobnatur,
  Und Lust zu fabulieren."

Shakespeare makes Petruchio tell the shrewish Katherine that his "goodly
speech" is "_extempore_ from my mother-wit," and Emerson calls
"mother-wit," the "cure for false theology." Quite appropriately
Spenser, in the _Faerie Queene_, speaks of "all that Nature by her
mother-wit could frame in earth." It is worth noting that when the
ancient Greeks came to name the soul, they personified it in Psyche, a
beautiful female, and that the word for "soul" is feminine in many
European languages.

Among the Teton Indians, according to the Rev. J. Owen Dorsey, the
following peculiar custom exists: "Prior to the naming of the infant is
the ceremony of the transfer of character; should the infant be a boy, a
brave and good-tempered man, chosen beforehand, takes the infant in his
arms and breathes into his mouth, thereby communicating his own
disposition to the infant, who will grow up to be a brave and
good-natured man. It is thought that such an infant will not cry as much
as infants that have not been thus favoured. Should the infant be a
girl, it is put into the arms of a good woman, who breathes into its
mouth" (433. 482).

Here we have _father_-wit as well as _mother_-wit.


Where women have no voice whatever in public affairs, and are
subordinated to the uttermost in social and family matters, little that
is honourable and noble is named for them. In East Central Africa, a Yao
woman, asked if the child she is carrying is a boy or a girl, frequently
replies: "My child is of the sex that does not speak" (518. XLIII. 249),
and with other peoples in higher stages of culture, the "silent woman"
lingers yet. _Taceat mulier in ecclesiâ_ still rings in our ears
to-day, as it has rung for untold centuries. Though the poet has said:--

  "There is a sight all hearts beguiling--
  A youthful mother to her infant smiling,
  Who, with spread arms and dancing feet,
  And cooing voice, returns its answer sweet,"

and mothers alone have understood the first babblings of humanity, they
have waited long to be remembered in the worthiest name of the language
they have taught their offspring.

The term _mother-tongue_, although Middle English had
"birthe-tonge," in the sense of native speech, is not old in our
language; the _Century Dictionary_ gives no examples of its early
use. Even immortal Shakespeare does not know it, for, in _King Richard
II._, he makes Mowbray say:--

  "The language I have learned these forty years
  (My native English) now must I forego."

The German version of the passage has, however, _mein mütterliches

Cowper, in the _Task_, does use "mother-tongue," in the connection

  "Praise enough
  To fill the ambition of a private man,
  That Chatham's language was his mother-tongue."

_Mother-tongue_ has now become part and parcel of our common
speech; a good word, and a noble one.

In Modern High German, the corresponding _Mutterzunge_, found in
Sebastian Franck (sixteenth century) has gradually given way to
_Muttersprache_, a word whose history is full of interest. In
Germany, as in Europe generally, the esteem in which Latin was held in
the Middle Ages and the centuries immediately following them, forbade
almost entirely the birth or extension of praiseworthy and endearing
names for the speech of the common people of the country. So long as men
spoke of "hiding the beauties of Latin in homely German words," and a
Bacon could think of writing his chief work in Latin, in order that he
might be remembered after his death, it were vain to expect aught else.

Hence, it does not surprise us to learn that the word
_Muttersprache_ is not many centuries old in German. Dr. Lübben,
who has studied its history, says it is not to be found in Old High
German or Middle High German (or Middle Low German), and does not appear
even in Luther's works, though, judging from a certain passage in his
_Table Talk_, it was perhaps known to him. It was only in the
seventeenth century that the word became quite common. Weigand states
that it was already in the _Dictionarium latino-germanicum_
(Zurich, 1556), and in Maaler's _Die Teutsch Spraach_ (Zurich,
1561), in which latter work (S. 262 a) we meet with the expressions
_vernacula lingua_, _patrius sermo_, _landspraach_,
_muoterliche spraach_, and _muoterspraach_ (S. 295 c). Opitz
(1624) uses the word, and it is found in Schottel's _Teutsche
Haupt-Sprache_ (Braunschweig, 1663). Apparently the earliest known
citation is the Low German _modersprake_, found in the introduction
of Dietrich Engelhus' (of Einbeck) _Deutsche Chronik_ (1424).

Nowadays _Muttersprache_ is found everywhere in the German
book-language, but Dr. Lübben, in 1881, declared that he had never heard
it from the mouth of the Low German folk, with whom the word was always
_lantsprake, gemene sprake_. Hence, although the word has been
immortalized by Klaus Groth, the Low German Burns, in the first poem of
his _Quickborn:_--

  "Min Modersprak, so slicht un recht,
  Du ole frame Red!
  Wenn blot en Mund 'min Vader' seggt,
  So klingt mi't as en Bed,"

and by Johann Meyer, in his _Ditmarscher Gedichte:_--

  "Vaderhus un Modersprak!
  Lat mi't nöm'n un lat mi't rop'n;
  Vaderhus, du belli Sted,
  Modersprak, da frame Red,
  Schönres klingt der Nix tohopen,"

it may be that _modersprak_ is not entirely a word of Low German
origin; beautiful though it is, this dialect, so closely akin to our own
English, did not directly give it birth. Nor do the corresponding terms
in the other Teutonic dialects,--Dutch _moederspraak, moedertaal_,
Swedish _modersmål_, etc.,--seem more original. The Romance
languages, however, offer a clue. In French, _langue mère_ is a
purely scientific term of recent origin, denoting the root-language of a
number of dialects, or of a "family of speech," and does not appear as
the equivalent of _Muttersprache_. The equivalents of the latter
are: French, _langue maternelle_; Spanish, _lengua materna_;
Italian, _lingua materna_, etc., all of which are modifications or
imitations of a Low Latin _lingua materna_, or _lingua
maternalis_. The Latin of the classic period seems not to have
possessed this term, the locutions in use being _sermo noster, patrius
sermo_, etc. The Greek had [Greek: _ae egchorios glossa ae idia
glossa,_] etc. Direct translations are met with in the _moderlike
sprake_ of Daniel von Soest, of Westphalia (sixteenth century), and
the _muoterliche spraach_ of Maaler (1561). It is from an Italian-
Latin source that Dr. Lübben supposes that the German prototypes of
_modersprak_ and _Muttersprache_ arose. In the _Bôk der
Byen_, a semi-Low German translation (fifteenth century) of the
_Liber Apium_ of Thomas of Chantimpré, occurs the word
_modertale_ in the passage "Christus sede to er [the Samaritan
woman] mit sachte stemme in erre modertale." A municipal book of
Treuenbrietzen informs us that in the year 1361 it was resolved to write
in the _ydeoma maternale_--what the equivalent of this was in the
common speech is not stated--and in the _Relatio_ of Hesso, we find
the term _materna lingua_ (105 a).

The various dialects have some variants of _Muttersprache_, and in
Göttingen we meet with _moimen spraken_, where _moime_
(cognate with Modern High German _Muhme_, "aunt"), signifies
"mother," and is a child-word.

From the _mother-tongue_ to the _mother-land_ is but a step.
As the speech she taught her babe bears the mother's name, so does also
the land her toil won from the wilderness.


As we say in English most commonly "native city," so also we say "native
land." Even Byron sings:--

  "Adieu, adieu I my native shore
  Fades o'er the waters blue;

       *        *        *        *        *

  My native land--good night!"

and Fitz-Greene Halleck, in his patriotic poem "Marco Bozzaris," bids
strike "For God, and your native land."

Scott's far-famed lines:--

  "Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
  Who never to himself has said,
  This is my own, my native land!"

and Smith's national hymn, "My country,'tis of thee," know no

In the great _Century Dictionary_, the only illustration cited of
the use of the word _mother-land_ is a very recent one, from the
_Century Magazine_ (vol. xxix. p. 507).

Shakespeare, however, comes very near it, when, in _King John_
(V. ii.), he makes the Bastard speak of "your dear Mother-England,"
--but this is not quite "mother-land."

In German, though, through the sterner influences which surrounded the
Empire in its birth and reorganization, _Vaterland_ is now the
word, _Mutterland_ was used by Kant, Wieland, Goethe, Herder,
Uhland, etc. Lippert suggests an ingenious explanation of the origin of
the terms _Mutterland_, _Vaterland_, as well as for the
predominance of the latter and younger word. If, in primitive times, man
alone could hold property,--women even and children were his
chattels,--yet the development of agriculture and horticulture at the
hands of woman created, as it were, a new species of property, property
in land, the result of woman's toil and labour; and this new property,
in days when "mother-right" prevailed, came to be called
_Mutterland_, as it was essentially "mothers' land." But when men
began to go forth to war, and to conquer and acquire land that was not
"mothers' land," a new species of landed property,--the "land of the
conquering father,"--came into existence (and with it a new theory of
succession, "father-right"), and from that time forward "Vaterland" has
extended its signification, until it has attained the meaning which it
possesses in the German speech of to-day (492. 33, 36).

The inhabitants of the British colonies scattered all over the world
speak of Britain as the "mother country," "Mother England"; and R. H.
Stoddard, the American poet, calls her "our Mother's Mother." The French
of Canada term France over-sea "la mère patrie" (mother fatherland).

Even Livy, the Roman historian, wrote _terra quam matrem
appellamus_,--"the land we call mother,"--and Virgil speaks of
Apollo's native Delos as _Delum maternum_. But for all this, the
proud Roman called his native land, not after his mother, but after his
father, _patria_; so also in corresponding terms the Greek, [Greek:
_patris_], etc. But the latter remembered his mother also, as the
word _metropolis_, which we have inherited, shows. [Greek:
_Maetropolis_] had the meanings: "mother-state" (whence
daughter-colonies went forth); "a chief city, a capital, metropolis;
one's mother-city, or mother-country." In English, _metropolis_ has
been associated with "mother-church," for a _metropolis_ or a
_metropolitan_ city, was long one which was the seat of a

Among the ancient Greeks the Cretans were remarkable for saying not
[Greek: _patris_] (father-land), but [Greek: _maetris_]
(mother-land), by which name also the Messenians called their native
land. Some light upon the loss of "mother-words" in ancient Greece may
be shed from the legend which tells that when the question came whether
the new town was to be named after Athene or Poseidon, all the women
voted for the former, carrying the day by a single vote, whereupon
Poseidon, in anger, sent a flood, and the men, determining to punish
their wives, deprived them of the power of voting, and decided that
thereafter children were not to be named after their mothers (115. 235).

In Gothic, we meet with a curious term for "native land, home,"
_gabaurths_ (from _gabairan_ "to bear"), which signifies also
"birth." As an exemplification of the idea in the Sophoclean phrase
"all-nourishing earth," we find that at an earlier stage in the history
of our own English tongue _erd_ (cognate with our _earth_)
signified "native land," a remembrance of that view of savage and
uncivilized peoples in which _earth, land_ are "native country,"
for these are, in the true sense of the term, _Landesleute,

In the language of the Hervey Islands, in the South Pacific, "the place
in which the placenta of an infant is buried is called the
_ipukarea_, or _native soil_" (459. 26).

Our English language seems still to prefer "native city, native town,
native village," as well as "native land," "mother-city" usually
signifying an older town from which younger ones have come forth. In
German, though _Vaterstadt_ in analogy with _Vaterland_ seems
to be the favorite, _Mutterstadt_ is not unknown.

Besides _Mutterland_ and _Mutterstadt_, we find in German the

_Mutterboden_, "mother-land." Used by the poet Uhland.
_Muttergefilde_, "the fields of mother-earth." Used by Schlegel.
_Muttergrund_, "the earth," as productive of all things. Used by
_Mutterhimmel_, "the sky above one's native land." Used by the
poet Herder.
_Mutterluft_, "the air of one's native land."
_Mutterhaus_, "the source, origin of anything." Uhland even has:--

  "Hier ist des Stromes Mutterhaus,
  Ich trink ihn frisch vom Stein heraus."

More far-reaching, diviner than "mother-land," is "mother-earth."



To the child its mother should be as God.--_G. Stanley Hall_.

A mother is the holiest thing alive.--_Coleridge_.

God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offence into everlasting
forgetfulness.--_Henry Ward Beecher_.

When the social world was written in terms of mother-right, the
religious world was expressed in terms of mother-god.

There is nothing more charming than to see a mother with a child in her
arms, and nothing more venerable than a mother among a number of her


"Earth, Mother of all," is a world-wide goddess. Professor O.T. Mason,
says: "The earth is the mother of all mankind. Out of her came they. Her
traits, attributes, characteristics, they have so thoroughly inherited
and imbibed, that, from any doctrinal point of view regarding the origin
of the species, the earth may be said to have been created for men, and
men to have been created out of the earth. By her nurture and tuition
they grow up and flourish, and, folded in her bosom, they sleep the
sleep of death. The idea of the earth-mother is in every cosmogony.
Nothing is more beautiful in the range of mythology than the conception
of Demeter with Persephone, impersonating the maternal earth, rejoicing
in the perpetual return of her daughter in spring, and mourning over her
departure in winter to Hades" (389 (1894). 140).

Dr. D.G. Brinton writes in the same strain (409. 238): "Out of the earth
rises life, to it it returns. She it is who guards all germs, nourishes
all beings. The Aztecs painted her as a woman with countless breasts;
the Peruvians called her '_Mama_ Allpa,' _mother_ Earth; in
the Algonkin tongue, the words for earth, mother, father, are from the
same root. _Homo, Adam, chamaigenes_, what do all these words mean
but earth-born, the son of the soil, repeated in the poetic language of
Attica in _anthropos_, he who springs up like a flower?"

Mr. W. J. McGee, treating of "Earth the Home of Man," says (502. 28):--

"In like manner, mankind, offspring of Mother Earth, cradled and nursed
through helpless infancy by things earthly, has been brought well
towards maturity; and, like the individual man, he is repaying the debt
unconsciously assumed at the birth of his kind, by transforming the face
of nature, by making all things better than they were before, by aiding
the good and destroying the bad among animals and plants, and by
protecting the aging earth from the ravages of time and failing
strength, even as the child protects his fleshly mother. Such are the
relations of earth and man."

The Roman babe had no right to live until the father lifted him up from
"mother-earth" upon which he lay; at the baptism of the ancient Mexican
child, the mother spoke thus: "Thou Sun, Father of all that live, and
thou Earth, our Mother, take ye this child and guard it as your son"
(529. 97); and among the Gypsies of northern Hungary, at a baptism, the
oldest woman present takes the child out, and, digging a circular trench
around the little one, whom she has placed upon the earth, utters the
following words: "Like this Earth, be thou strong and great, may thy
heart be free from care, be merry as a bird" (392 (1891). 20). All of
these practices have their analogues in other parts of the globe.

In another way, infanticide is connected with "mother-earth." In the
book of the "Wisdom of Solomon" (xiv. 23) we read: "They slew their
children in sacrifices." Infanticide--"murder most foul, as in the best
it is, but this most foul, strange, and unnatural"--has been sheltered
beneath the cloak of religion. The story is one of the darkest pages in
the history of man. A priestly legend of the Khonds of India attributes
to child-sacrifice a divine origin:--

"In the beginning was the Earth a formless mass of mud, and could not
have borne the dwelling of man, or even his weight; in this liquid and
ever-moving slime neither tree nor herb took root. Then God said: 'Spill
human blood before my face!' And they sacrificed a child before Him. ...
Falling upon the soil, the bloody drops stiffened and consolidated it."

But too well have the Khonds obeyed the command: "And by the virtues of
the blood shed, the seeds began to sprout, the plants to grow, the
animals to propagate. And God commanded that the Earth should be watered
with blood every new season, to keep her firm and solid. And this has
been done by every generation that has preceded us."

More than once "the mother, with her boys and girls, and perhaps even a
little child in her arms, were immolated together,"--for sometimes the
wretched children, instead of being immediately sacrificed, were allowed
to live until they had offspring whose sad fate was determined ere their
birth. In the work of Reclus may be read the fearful tale of the cult of
"Pennou, the terrible earth-deity, the bride of the great Sun-God" (523.

In Tonga the paleness of the moon is explained by the following legend:
Vatea (Day) and Tonga-iti (Night) each claimed the first-born of Papa
(Earth) as his own child. After they had quarrelled a great deal, the
infant was cut in two, and Vatea, the husband of Papa, "took the upper
part as his share, and forthwith squeezed it into a ball and tossed it
into the heavens, where it became the sun." But Tonga-iti, in sullen
humour, let his half remain on the ground for a day or two. Afterward,
however, "seeing the brightness of Vatea's half, he resolved to imitate
his example by compressing his share into a ball, and tossing it into
the dark sky during the absence of the sun in Avaiki, or netherworld."
It became the moon, which is so pale by reason of "the blood having all
drained out and decomposition having commenced," before Tonga-iti threw
his half up into the sky (458. 45). With other primitive peoples, too,
the gods were infanticidal, and many nations like those of Asia Minor,
who offered up the virginity of their daughters upon the altars of their
deities, hesitated not to slay upon their high places the first innocent
pledges of motherhood.

The earth-goddess appears again when the child enters upon manhood, for
at Brahman marriages in India, the bridegroom still says to the bride,
"I am the sky, thou art the earth, come let us marry" (421. 29).

And last of all, when the ineluctable struggle of death is over, man
returns to the "mother-earth"--dust to dust. One of the hymns of the
Rig-Veda has these beautiful words, forming part of the funeral
ceremonies of the old Hindus:--

 "Approach thou now the lap of Earth, thy mother,
    The wide-extending Earth, the ever-kindly;
  A maiden soft as wool to him who comes with gifts,
    She shall protect thee from destruction's bosom.

 "Open thyself, O Earth, and press not heavily;
    Be easy of access and of approach to him,
  As mother with her robe her child,
    So do thou cover him, O Earth!" (421. 31).

The study of the mortuary rites and customs of the primitive peoples of
all ages of the world's history (548) reveals many instances of the
belief that when men, "the common growth of mother-earth," at last rest
their heads upon her lap, they do not wholly die, for the immortality of
Earth is theirs. Whether they live again,--as little children are often
fabled to do,--when Earth laughs with flowers of spring, or become
incarnate in other members of the animate or inanimate creation, whose
kinship with man and with God is an article of the great folk-creed, or,
in the beautiful words of the burial service of the Episcopal Church,
sleep "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in sure and certain
hope of the resurrection," all testifies that man is instinct with the
life that throbs in the bosom of Earth, his Mother. As of old, the story
ran that man grew into being from the dust, or sprang forth in god-like
majesty, so, when death has come, he sinks to dust again, or
triumphantly scales the lofty heights where dwell the immortal deities,
and becomes "as one of them."

With the idea of the earth-mother are connected the numerous myths of
the origin of the first human beings from clay, mould, etc., their
provenience from caves, holes in the ground, rocks and mountains,
especially those in which the woman is said to have been created first
(509. 110). Here belong also not a few ethnic names, for many primitive
peoples have seen fit to call themselves "sons of the soil, _terrae
filii_, _Landesleute_."

Muller and Brinton have much to say of the American earth-goddesses,
_Toci_, "our mother," and goddess of childbirth among the ancient
Mexicans (509. 494); the Peruvian _Pachamama_, "mother-earth," the
mother of men (509. 369); the "earth-mother" of the Caribs, who through
earthquakes manifests her animation and cheerfulness to her children,
the Indians, who forthwith imitate her in joyous dances (509. 221); the
"mother-earth" of the Shawnees, of whom the Indian chief spoke, when he
was bidden to regard General Harrison as "Father": "No, the sun yonder
is my father, and the earth my mother; upon her bosom will I repose,"
etc. (509. 117).

Among the earth-goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome are Demeter, Ceres,
Tellus, Rhea, Terra, Ops, Cybele, Bona Dea, Bona Mater, Magna Mater,
Gaea, Ge, whose attributes and ceremonies are described in the books of
classical mythology. Many times they are termed "mother of the gods" and
"mother of men"; Cybele is sometimes represented as a woman advanced in
pregnancy or as a woman with many breasts; Rhea, or Cybele, as the
hill-enthroned protectress of cities, was styled _Mater turrita_.

The ancient Teutons had their _Hertha_, or _Erdemutter_, the
_Nertha_ of Tacitus, and fragments of the primitive earth-worship
linger yet among the folk of kindred stock. The Slavonic peoples had
their "earth-mother" also.

The ancient Indian Aryans worshipped Prithîvî-mâtar, "earth-mother," and
Dyaus pitar, "sky-father," and in China, Yang, Sky, is regarded as the
"father of all things," while Yu, Earth, is the "mother of all things."

Among the ancient Egyptians the "earth-mother," the "parent of all
things born," was Isis, the wife of the great Osiris. The natal
ceremonies of the Indians of the Sia Pueblo have been described at great
length by Mrs. Stevenson (538. 132-143). Before the mother is delivered
of her child the priest repeats in a low tone the following prayer:--

"Here is the child's sand-bed. May the child have good thoughts and know
its mother-earth, the giver of food. May it have good thoughts and grow
from childhood to manhood. May the child be beautiful and happy. Here is
the child's bed; may the child be beautiful and happy. Ashes man, let me
make good medicine for the child. We will receive the child into our
arms, that it may be happy and contented. May it grow from childhood to
manhood. May it know its mother Ct'sêt [the first created woman], the
Ko'pishtaia, and its mother-earth. May the child have good thoughts and
grow from childhood to manhood. May it be beautiful and happy" (538.

On the fourth morning after the birth of the child, the doctress in
attendance, "stooping until she almost sits on the ground, bares the
child's head as she holds it toward the rising sun, and repeats a long
prayer, and, addressing the child, she says: 'I bring you to see your
Sun-father and Ko'pishtaia, that you may know them and they you'" (538.


Though we are now accustomed, by reason of their grandeur and sublimity,
to personify mountains as masculine, the old fable of Phædrus about the
"mountain in labour, that brought forth a mouse,"--as Horace has it,
_Montes laborabant et parturitur ridiculus mus_,--shows that
another concept was not unknown to the ancients. The Armenians call
Mount Ararat "Mother of the World" (500. 39), and the Spaniards speak of
a chief range of mountains as _Sierra Madre_. In mining we meet
with the "mother-lode," _veta, madre_, but, curiously enough, the
main shaft is called in German _Vaterschacht_.

We know that the Lapps and some other primitive peoples "transferred to
stones the domestic relations of father, mother, and child," or regarded
them as children of Mother-Earth (529. 64); "eggs of the earth" they are
called in the magic songs of the Finns. In Suffolk, England,
"conglomerate is called 'mother of stones,' under the idea that pebbles
are born of it"; in Germany _Mutterstein_. And in litholatry, in
various parts of the globe, we have ideas which spring from like


Milton speaks of the "wide womb of uncreate night," and some of the
ancient classical poets call _Nox_ "the mother of all things, of
gods as well as men." "The Night is Mother of the Day," says Whittier,
and the myth he revives is an old and wide-spread one. "Out of Night is
born day, as a child comes forth from the womb of his mother," said the
Greek and Roman of old. As Bachofen (6. 16, 219) remarks: "Das
Mutterthum verbindet sich mit der Idee der den Tag aus sich gebierenden
Nacht, wie das Vaterrecht dem Reiche des Lichts, dem von der Sonne mit
der Mutter Nacht gezeugten Tage." Darkness, Night, Earth, Motherhood,
seem all akin in the dim light of primitive philosophy. Yet night is not
always figured as a woman. James Ferguson, the Scotch poet, tells us how

  "Auld Daddy Darkness creeps frae his hole,
  Black as a blackamoor, blin' as a mole,"

and holds dominion over earth till "Wee Davie Daylicht comes keekin'
owre the hill" (230. 73).

An old Anglo-Saxon name for Christinas was _modra-neht,_ "mother's


In Sanskrit mythology Ushas, "Dawn," is daughter of Heaven, and
poetically she is represented as "a young wife awakening her children
and giving them new strength for the toils of the new day."

Sometimes she is termed _gavam ganitri,_ "the mother of the cows,"
which latter mythologists consider to be either "the clouds which pour
water on the fields, or the bright mornings which, like cows, are
supposed to step out one by one from the stable of the night" (510.

In an ancient Hindu hymn to Ushas we read:--

"She shines upon us like a young wife, rousing every living being to go
to his work. When the fire had to be kindled by men, she made the light
by striking down darkness.

"She rose up, spreading far and wide, and moving everywhere. She grew in
brightness, wearing her brilliant garment. The mother of the cows, the
leader of the days, she shone gold-coloured, lovely to behold" (421.

This daughter of the sky was the "lengthener of life, the love of all,
the giver of food, riches, blessings." According to Dr. Brinton, the
Quiche Indians of Guatemala speak of Xmucane and Xpiyacoc as being "the
great ancestress and the great ancestor" of all things. The former is
called _r'atit zih, r'atit zak,_ "primal mother of the sun and
light" (411. 119).


In Russia we meet with the days of the week as "mothers." Perhaps the
most remarkable of these is "Mother Friday," a curious product of the
mingling of Christian hagiology and Slavonic mythology, of St. Prascovia
and the goddess Siwa. On the day sacred to her, "Mother Friday" wanders
about the houses of the peasants, avenging herself on such as have been
so rash as to sew, spin, weave, etc., on a Friday (520. 206).

In a Wallachian tale appear three supernatural females,--the holy
mothers Friday, Wednesday, and Sunday,--who assist the hero in his quest
of the heroine, and in another Wallachian story they help a wife to find
her lost husband.

"Mother Sunday" is said "to rule the animal world, and can collect her
subjects by playing on a magic flute. She is represented as exercising
authority over both birds and beasts, and in a Slovak story she bestows
on the hero a magic horse" (520. 211). In Bulgaria we even find
mother-months, and Miss Garnett has given an account of the superstition
of "Mother March" among the women of that country (61.I. 330). William
Miller, the poet-laureate of the nursery, sings of _Lady Summer_:--

  "Birdie, birdie, weet your whistle!
     Sing a sang to please the wean;
   Let it be o' Lady Summer
     Walking wi' her gallant train!
   Sing him how her gaucy mantle,
     Forest-green, trails ower the lea,
   Broider'd frae the dewy hem o't
     Wi' the field flowers to the knee!

  "How her foot's wi' daisies buskit,
    Kirtle o' the primrose hue,
   And her e'e sae like my laddie's,
     Glancing, laughing, loving blue!
   How we meet on hill and valley,
     Children sweet as fairest flowers,
   Buds and blossoms o' affection,
     Rosy wi' the sunny hours" (230. 161).


In certain languages, as in Modern German, the word for "sun" is
feminine, and in mythology the orb of day often appears as a woman. The
German peasant was wont to address the sun and the moon familiarly as
"Frau Sonne" and "Herr Mond," and in a Russian folk-song a fair maiden
sings (520. 184):--

  "My mother is the beauteous Sun,
   And my father, the bright Moon;
   My brothers are the many Stars,
   And my sisters the white Dawns."

Jean Paul beautifully terms the sun "Sonne, du Mutterauge der Welt!" and
Hölty sings: "Geh aus deinem Gezelt, Mutter des Tags hervor, und
vergülde die wache Welt"; in another passage the last writer thus
apostrophizes the sun: "Heil dir, Mutter des Lichts!" These terms
"mother-eye of the world," "mother of day," "mother of light," find
analogues in other tongues. The Andaman Islanders have their _chän-a
bô-dô_, "mother-sun" (498. 96), and certain Indians of Brazil call
the sun _coaraçy_, "mother of the day or earth." In their sacred
language the Dakota Indians speak of the sun as "grandmother" and the
moon as "grandfather." The Chiquito Indians "used to call the sun their
mother, and, at every eclipse of the sun, they would shoot their arrows
so as to wound it; they would let loose their dogs, who, they thought,
went instantly to devour the moon" (100. 289).

The Yuchi Indians called themselves "children of the sun." Dr. Gatschet
tells us: "The Yuchis believe themselves to be the offspring of the sun,
which they consider to be a female. According to one myth, a couple of
human beings were born from her monthly efflux, and from, these the
Yuchis afterward originated." Another myth of the same people says: "An
unknown mysterious being once came down upon the earth and met people
there who were the ancestors of the Yuchi Indians. To them this being
(_Hi'ki_, or _Ka'la hi'ki_) taught many of the arts of life,
and in matters of religion admonished them to call the sun their mother
as a matter of worship" (389 (1893). 280).


Shelley sings of

  "That orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
     Whom mortals call the moon,"

and in other languages besides Latin the word for moon is feminine, and
the lunar deity a female, often associated with childbirth. The
moon-goddesses of the Orient--Diana (Juno), Astarte, Anahita,
etc.--preside over the beginnings of human life. Not a few primitive
peoples have thought of the moon as mother. The ancient Peruvians
worshipped _Mama-Quilla_, "mother-moon," and the Hurons regarded
Ataensic, the mother or grandmother of Jouskeha, the sun, as the
"creatress of earth and man," as well as the goddess of death and of the
souls of the departed (509. 363). The Tarahumari Indians of the Sierra
of Chihuahua, Mexico, call the sun _au-nau-ru-a-mi_, "high father,"
and the moon, _je-ru-a-mi_, "high mother." The Tupi Indians of
Brazil term the moon _jacy_, "our mother," and the same name occurs
in the Omagua and other members of this linguistic stock. The Muzo
Indians believe that the sun is their father and the moon their mother
(529. 95).

Horace calls the moon _siderum regina_, and Apuleius, _regina
coeli_, and Milton writes of

  "mooned Ashtaroth,
  Heaven's queen and mother both."

Froebel's verses, "The Little Girl and the Stars," are stated to be
based upon the exclamation of the child when seeing two large stars
close together in the heavens, "Father-Mother-Star," and a further
instance of like nature is cited where the child applied the word
"mother" to the moon.


An ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus of Ephesus, taught that the
world was created from fire, the omnipotent and omniscient essence, and
with many savage and barbaric peoples fire-worship has nourished or
still flourishes. The Indie Aryans of old produced fire by the method of
the twirling stick, and in their symbolism "the turning stick, Pramanta,
was the father of the god of fire; the immovable stick was the mother of
the adorable and luminous Agni [fire]"--a concept far-reaching in its
mystic and mythological relations (100. 564).

According to Mr. Gushing the Zuñi Indians term fire the "Grandmother of

In their examination of the burial-places of the ancient Indian
population of the Salado River Valley in Arizona, the Hemenway Exploring
Expedition found that many children were buried near the kitchen
hearths. Mr. Cushing offers the following explanation of this custom,
which finds analogies in various parts of the world: "The matriarchal
grandmother, or matron of the household deities, is the fire. It is
considered the guardian, as it is also, being used for cooking, the
principal 'source of life' of the family. The little children being
considered unable to care for themselves, were placed, literally, under
the protection of the family fire that their soul-life might be
nourished, sustained, and increased" (501. 149). Boecler tells us that
the Esthonian bride "consecrates her new home and hearth by an offering
of money cast into the fire, or laid on the oven, for _Tule-ema_,
[the] Fire Mother" (545. II. 285). In a Mongolian wedding-song there is
an invocation of "Mother Ut, Queen of Fire," who is said to have come
forth "when heaven and earth divided," and to have issued "from the
footsteps of Mother-Earth." She is further said to have "a manly son,
a beauteous daughter-in-law, bright daughters" (484. 38).


The poet Homer and the philosopher Thales of Miletus agreed in regarding
water as the primal element, the original of all existences, and their
theory has supporters among many primitive peoples. At the baptism
festivals of their children, the ancient Mexicans recognized the goddess
of the waters. At sunrise the midwife addressed the child, saying, among
other things: "Be cleansed with thy mother, Chalchihuitlicue, the
goddess of water." Then, placing her dripping finger upon the child's
lips, she continued: "Take this, for on it thou must live, grow, become
strong, and flourish. Through it we receive all our needs. Take it."
And, again, "We are all in the hands of Chalchihuitlicue, our mother";
as she washed the child she uttered the formula: "Bad, whatever thou
art, depart, vanish, for the child lives anew and is born again; it is
once more cleansed, once more renewed through our mother
Chalchihuitlicue." As she lifted the child up into the air, she prayed,
"O Goddess, Mother of Water, fill this child with thy power and virtue"
(326. I. 263).

In their invocation for the restoration of the spirit to the body, the
Nagualists,--a native American mystic sect,--of Mexico and Central
America, make appeal to "Mother mine, whose robe is of precious gems,"
_i.e._ water, regarded as "the universal mother." The "robe of
precious stones" refers to "the green or vegetable life" resembling the
green of precious stones. Another of her names is the "Green Woman,"--a
term drawn from "the greenness which follows moisture" (413. 52-54).

The idea of water as the source of all things appears also in the
cosmology of the Indie Aryans. In one of the Vedic hymns it is stated
that water existed before even the gods came into being, and the
Rig-veda tells us that "the waters contained a germ from which
everything else sprang forth." This is plainly a myth of the motherhood
of the waters, for in the Brâhmanas we are told that from the water
arose an egg, from which came forth after a year Pragâpati, the creator
(510. 248). Variants of this myth of the cosmic egg are found in other
quarters of the globe.


The Chinchas of Peru looked upon the sea as the chief deity and the
mother of all things, and the Peruvians worshipped _Mama-Cocha_,
"mother sea" (509. 368), from which had come forth everything, even
animals, giants, and the Indians themselves. Associated with
_Mama-Cocha_ was the god _Vira-Cocha_, "sea-foam." In Peru
water was revered everywhere,--rivers and canals, fountains and
wells,--and many sacrifices were made to them, especially of certain
sea-shells which were thought to be "daughters of the sea, the mother of
all waters." The traditions of the Incas point to an origin from Lake
Titicaca, and other tribes fabled their descent from fountains and
streams (412. 204). Here belong, doubtless, some of the myths of the
sea-born deities of classical mythology as well as those of the
water-origin of the first of the human race, together with kindred
conceits of other primitive peoples.

In the Bengalese tale of "The Boy with the Moon on his Forehead,"
recorded by Day, the hero pleads: "O mother Ocean, please make way for
me, or else I die" (426. 250), and passes on in safety. The poet
Swinburne calls the sea "fair, white mother," "green-girdled mother,"
"great, sweet mother, mother and lover of men, the sea."


According to Russian legend "the Dnieper, Volga, and Dvina used once to
be living people. The Dnieper was a boy, and the Volga and Dvina his
sisters." The Russians call their great river "Mother Volga," and it is
said that, in the seventeenth century, a chief of the Don Cossacks,
inflamed with wine, sacrificed to the mighty stream a Persian princess,
accompanying his action with these words: "O Mother Volga, thou great
River! much hast thou given me of gold and of silver, and of all good
things; thou hast nursed me and nourished me, and covered me with glory
and honor. But I have in no way shown thee my gratitude. Here is
somewhat for thee; take it!" (520. 217-220).

In the Mahábhárata, the great Sanskrit epic, King Sántanu is said to
have walked by the side of the river one day, where "he met and fell in
love with a beautiful girl, who told him that she was the river Ganges,
and could only marry him on condition he never questioned her conduct.
To this he, with a truly royal gallantry, agreed; and she bore him
several children, all of whom she threw into the river as soon as they
were born. At last she bore him a boy, Bhíshma; and her husband begged
her to spare his life, whereupon she instantly changed into the river
Ganges and flowed away" (258. 317). Similar folk-tales are to be met
with in other parts of the world, and the list of water-sprites and
river-goddesses is almost endless. Greater than "Mother Volga," is
"Mother Ganges," to whom countless sacrifices have been made. In the
language of the Caddo Indians, the Mississippi is called _báhat
sássin_, "mother of rivers."


The ancient Peruvians had their "Mother Maize," _Mama Cora_, which
they worshipped with a sort of harvest-home having, as Andrew Lang
points out, something in common with the children's last sheaf, in the
north-country (English and Scotch) "kernaby," as well as with the
"Demeter of the threshing-floor," of whom Theocritus speaks (484. 18).

An interesting legend of the Indians of the Pueblos of Arizona and New
Mexico is recorded by Muller (509. 60). Ages ago there dwelt on the
green plains a beautiful woman, who refused all wooers, though they
brought many precious gifts. It came to pass that the land was sore
distressed by dearth and famine, and when the people appealed to the
woman she gave them maize in plenty. One day, she lay asleep naked; a
rain-drop falling upon her breast, she conceived and bore a son, from
whom are descended the people who built the "Casas Grandes." Dr. Fewkes
cites a like myth of the Hopi or Tusayan Indians in which appears
_kó-kyan-wüq-ti_, "the spider woman," a character possessing
certain attributes of the Earth-Mother. Speaking of certain ceremonies
in which _Cá-li-ko_, the corn-goddess, figures, he calls attention
to the fact that "in initiations an ear of corn is given to the novice
as a symbolic representation of mother. The corn is the mother of all
initiated persons of the tribe" (389 (1894). 48).

Mr. Lummis also speaks of "Mother Corn" among the Pueblos Indians: "A
flawless ear of pure white corn (type of fertility and motherhood) is
decked out with a downy mass of snow-white feathers, and hung with
ornaments of silver, coral, and the precious turquoise" (302. 72).

Concerning the Pawnee Indians, Mr. Grinnell tells us that after the
separation of the peoples, the boy (medicine-man) who was with the few
who still remained at the place from which the others had departed,
going their different ways, found in the sacred bundle--the Shekinah of
the tribe--an ear of corn. To the people he said: "We are to live by
this, this is our Mother." And from "Mother Corn" the Indians learned
how to make bows and arrows. When these Indians separated into three
bands (according to the legend), the boy broke off the nub of the ear
and gave it to the Mandans, the big end he gave to the Pawnees, and the
middle to the Rees. This is why, at the present time, the Pawnees have
the best and largest corn, the Rees somewhat inferior, and the Mandans
the shortest of all--since they planted the pieces originally given them
(480 (1893). 125).

The old Mexicans had in Cinteotl a corn-goddess and deity of fertility
in whose honour even human sacrifices were made. She was looked upon as
"the producer," especially of children, and sometimes represented with a
child in her arms (509. 491).

In India there is a regular cult of the holy basil (_Ocymum
sanetum_), or _Tulasî_, as it is called, which appears to be a
transformation of the goddess Lakshmî. It may be gathered for pious
purposes only, and in so doing the following prayer is offered: "Mother
_Tulasî_, be thou propitious. If I gather thee with care, be
merciful unto me. O _Tulasî_, mother of the world, I beseech thee."
This plant is worshipped as a deity,--the wife of Vishnu, whom the
breaking of even a little twig grieves and torments,--and "the pious
Hindus invoke the divine herb for the protection of every part of the
body, for life and for death, and in every action of life; but above
all, in its capacity of ensuring children to those who desire to have
them." To him who thoughtlessly or wilfully pulls up the plant "no
happiness, no health, no children." The _Tulasî_ opens the gates of
heaven; hence on the breast of the pious dead is placed a leaf of basil,
and the Hindu "who has religiously planted and cultivated the
_Tulasî_, obtains the privilege of ascending to the palace of
Vishnu, surrounded by ten millions of parents" (448. 244).

In Denmark, there is a popular belief that in the elder
(_Sambucus_) there lives a spirit or being known as the
"elder-mother" (_hylde-moer_), or "elder-woman"
(_hilde-qvinde_), and before elder-branches may be cut this
petition is uttered: "Elder-mother, elder-mother, allow me to cut thy
branches." In Lower Saxony the peasant repeats, on bended knees, with
hands folded, three times the words: "Lady Elder, give me some of thy
wood; then will I also give thee some of mine, when it grows in the
forest" (448. 318-320). In Huntingdonshire, England, the belief in the
"elder-mother" is found, and it is thought dangerous to pluck the
flowers, while elder-wood, in a room, or used for a cradle, is apt to
work evil for children. In some parts of England, it is believed that
boys beaten with an elder stick will be retarded in their growth; in
Sweden, women who are about to become mothers kiss the elder. In
Germany, a somewhat similar personification of the juniper, "Frau
Wachholder," exists. And here we come into touch with the dryads and
forest-sprites of all ages, familiar to us in the myths of classic
antiquity and the tales of the nursery (448. 396).

In a Bengalese tale, the hero, on coming to a forest, cries: "O mother
_kachiri_, please make way for me, or else I die," and the wood
opens to let him pass through (426. 250).

Perhaps the best and sweetest story of plant mythology under this head
is Hans Christian Andersen's beautiful tale of "The Elder-Tree
Mother,"--the Dryad whose name is Remembrance (393. 215).


Our word _thumb_ signifies literally "thick or big finger," and the
same idea occurs in other languages. With not a few primitive peoples
this thought takes another turn, and, as in the speech of the
Karankawas, an extinct Indian tribe of Texas, "the _biggest_, or
_thickest_ finger is called '_father_, _mother_, or
_old_'" (456. 68). The Creek Indians of the Southeastern United
States term the "thumb" _ingi itchki_, "the hand its mother," and a
like meaning attaches to the Chickasaw _ilbak-ishke_, Hichiti
_ilb-iki_, while the Muskogees call the "thumb," the "mother of
fingers." It is worthy of note, that, in the Bakaïri language of Brazil,
the thumb is called "father," and the little finger, "child," or "little
one" (536. 406). In Samoa the "thumb" is named _lima-matua_,
"forefather of the hand," and the "first finger" _lima-tama_,
"child of the hand." In the Tshi language of Western Africa a finger is
known as _ensah-tsia-abbah_, "little child of the hand," and in
some other tongues of savage or barbaric peoples "fingers" are simply
"children of the hand."

Professor Culin in his notes of "Palmistry in China and Japan," says:
"The thumb, called in Japanese, _oya-ubi_, 'parent-finger,' is for
parents. The little finger, called in Japanese, _ko-ubi_,
'child-finger,' is for children; the index-finger is for uncle, aunt,
and elder brother and elder sister. The third finger is for younger
brother and younger sister" (423a). A short little finger indicates
childlessness, and lines on the palm of the hand, below the little
finger, children. There are very many nursery-games and rhymes of
various sorts based upon the hand and fingers, and in not a few of these
the thumb and fingers play the _rôle_ of mother and children.
Froebel seized upon this thought to teach the child the idea of the
family. His verses are well-known:--

 "Das ist die Groszmama,
  Das ist der Groszpapa,
  Das ist der Vater,
  Das ist die Mutter,
  Das ist's kleine Kindchen ja;
  Seht die ganze Familie da.
  Das ist die Mutter lieb und gut,
  Das ist der Vater mit frohem Muth;
  Das ist der Bruder lang und grosz;
  Das ist die Schwester mit Puppchen im Schoosz;
  Und dies ist das Kindchen, noch klein und zart,
  Und dies die Familie von guter Art."

Referring to Froebel's games, Elizabeth Harrison remarks:--

"In order that this activity, generally first noticed in the use of the
hands, might be trained into right and ennobling habits, rather than be
allowed to degenerate into wrong and often degrading ones, Froebel
arranged his charming set of finger-games for the mother to teach her
babe while he is yet in her arms; thus establishing the right activity
before the wrong one can assert itself. In such little songs as the

 'This is the mother, good and dear;
  This the father, with hearty cheer;
  This is the brother, stout and tall;
  This is the sister, who plays with her doll;
  And this is the baby, the pet of all.
  Behold the good family, great and small,'

the child is led to personify his fingers and to regard them as a small
but united family over which he has control." (257 a. 14).

Miss Wiltse, who devotes a chapter of her little volume to "Finger-songs
related to Family Life and the Imaginative Faculty," says:--

"The dawning consciousness of the child so turned to the family
relations is surely better than the old nursery method of playing 'This
little pig went to market'" (384. 45).

And from the father and mother the step to God is easy.

Dr. Brewer informs us that in the Greek and Roman Church the Trinity is
symbolized by the thumb and first two fingers: "The thumb, being strong,
represents the _Father_; the long, or second finger, _Jesus
Christ_; and the first finger, the _Holy Ghost_, which
proceedeth from the Father and the Son" (_Dict. of Phrase and
Fable_, P. 299).


The "Motherhood of God" is an expression that still sounds somewhat
strangely to our ears. We have come to speak readily enough of the
"Fatherhood of God" and the "Brotherhood of Man," but only a still small
voice has whispered of the "Motherhood of God" and the "Sisterhood of
Woman." Yet there have been in the world, as, indeed, there are now,
multitudes to whom the idea of Heaven without a mother is as blank as
that of the home without her who makes it. If over the human babe bends
the human mother who is its divinity,--

  "The infant lies in blessed ease
    Upon his mother's breast;
  No storm, no dark, the baby sees
    Invade his heaven of rest.
  He nothing knows of change or death--
    Her face his holy skies;
  The air he breathes, his mother's breath--
    His stars, his mother's eyes,"--

so over the infant-race must bend the All-Mother, _das
Ewigweibliche._ Perhaps the greatest service that the Roman Catholic
Church has rendered to mankind is the prominence given in its cult of
the Virgin Mary to the mother-side of Deity. In the race's final concept
of God, the embodiment of all that is pure and holy, there must surely
be some overshadowing of a mother's tender love. With the "Father-Heart"
of the Almighty must be linked the "Mother-Soul." To some extent, at
least, we may expect a harking back to the standpoint of the Buddhist
Kalmuck, whose child is taught to pray: "O God, who art my father and my

In all ages and over the whole world peoples of culture less than ours
have had their "mother-gods," all the embodiments of motherhood, the joy
of the _Magnificat_, the sacrosanct expression of the poet's

  "Close to the mysteries of God art thou,
  My brooding mother-heart,"

the recognition of that outlasting secret hope and love, of which the
Gospel writer told in the simple words: "Now there stood by the cross of
Jesus his mother," and faith in which was strong in the Mesopotamians of
old, who prayed to the goddess Istar, "May thy heart be appeased as the
heart of a mother who has borne children." The world is at its best when
the last, holiest appeal is _ad matrem_. Professor O.T. Mason has
eloquently stated the debt of the world's religions to motherhood (112.
12):--"The mother-goddess of all peoples, culminating in the apotheosis
of the Virgin Mary, is an idea either originated by women, or devised to
satisfy their spiritual cravings. So we may go through the pantheons of
all peoples, finding counterparts of Rhea, mother-earth, goddess of
fertility; Hera, queen of harvests, feeder of mankind; Hestia, goddess
of the hearth and home, of families and states, giving life and warmth;
Aphrodite, the beautiful, patron of romantic love and personal charms;
Hera, sovereign lady, divine caciquess, embodiment of queenly dignity;
Pallas Athene, ideal image of that central inspiring force that we learn
at our mother's knee, and that shone in eternal splendour; Isis, the
goddess of widowhood, sending forth her son Horus, to avenge the death
of his father, Osiris; as moon-goddess, keeping alive the light until
the sun rises again to bless the world."

_The All-Mother._

In Polynesian mythology we find, dwelling in the lowest depths of Avaiki
(the interior of the universe), the "Great Mother,"--the originator of
all things, _Vari-ma-te-takere_, "the very beginning,"--and her
pet child, Tu-metua, "Stick by the parent," her last offspring,
inseparable from her. All of her children were born of pieces of flesh
which she plucked off her own body; the first-born was the man-fish
Vatea, "father of gods and men," whose one eye is the sun, the other the
moon; the fifth child was Raka, to whom his mother gave the winds in a
basket, and "the children of Raka are the numerous winds and storms
which distress mankind. To each child is allotted a hole at the edge of
the horizon, through which he blows at pleasure." In the songs the gods
are termed "the children of Vatea," and the ocean is sometimes called
"the sea of Vatea." Mr. Gill tells us that "the Great Mother
approximates nearest to the dignity of creator"; and, curiously enough,
the word _Vari_, "beginning," signifies, on the island of
Rarotonga, "mud," showing that "these people imagined that once the
world was a 'chaos of mud,' out of which some mighty unseen agent, whom
they called _Vari_, evolved the present order of things" (458. 3,

Another "All-Mother" is she of whom our own poets have sung, "Nature,"
the source and sustainer of all.


"So übt Natur die Mutterpflicht," sang the poet Schiller, and "Mother
Nature" is the key-word of those modern poets who, in their mystic
philosophy, consciously or unconsciously, revive the old mythologies.
With primitive peoples the being, growing power of the universe was
easily conceived as feminine and as motherly. Nature is the "great
parent," the "gracious mother," of us all. In "Mother Nature," woman,
the creator of the earliest arts of man, is recognized and personified,
and in a wider sense even than the poet dreamt of: "One touch of Nature
makes the whole world kin."

Pindar declared that "gods and men are sons of the same mother," and
with many savage and barbaric tribes, gods, men, animals, and all other
objects, animate and inanimate, are akin(388.210). As Professor
Robertson Smith has said: "The same lack of any sharp distinction
between the nature of different kinds of visible beings appears in the
old myths in which all kinds of objects, animate and inanimate, organic
and inorganic, appear as cognate with one another, with men, and with
the gods" (535.85). Mr. Hartland, speaking of this stage of thought,
says: "Sun and moon, the wind and the waters, perform all the functions
of living beings; they speak, they eat, they marry and have children"
(258.26). The same idea is brought out by Count D'Alviella: "The highest
point of development that polytheism could reach, is found in the
conception of a monarchy or divine family, embracing all terrestrial
beings, and even the whole universe" (388.211). Mr. Frank Cushing
attributes like beliefs in the kinship of all existences to the Zuni
Indians (388.66), and Mr. im Thurn to the Indians of Guiana (388.99).

This feeling of kinship to all that is, is beautifully expressed in the
words of the dying Greek Klepht: "Do not say that I am dead, but say
that I am married in the sorrowful, strange countries, that I have taken
the flat stone for a mother-in-law, the black earth for my wife, and the
little pebbles for brothers-in-law." (Lady Verney, _Essays_, II.

In the Trinity of Upper Egypt the second person was Mut, "Mother
Nature." the others being Armin, the chief god, and their son, Khuns.

Among the Slavs, according to Mone, Ziwa is a nature-goddess, and the
Wends regard her as "many-breasted Mother Nature," the producing and
nourishing power of the earth. Her consort is Zibog, the god of life
(125. II. 23).

Curiously reminiscent of the same train of ideas which has given to the
_moderson_ of Low German the signification of "bastard," is our own
equivalent term "natural son."

Poets and orators have not failed to appeal to "Mother Nature" and to
sing her panegyrics, but there is perhaps nothing more sweet and noble
than the words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: "Nature, like a loving mother,
is ever trying to keep land and sea, mountain and valley, each in its
place, to hush the angry winds and waves, balance the extremes of heat
and cold, of rain and drought, that peace, harmony, and beauty may reign
supreme," and the verses of Longfellow:--

  "And Nature, the old nurse, took
    The child upon her knee,
  Saying, 'Here is a story-book
    Thy Father has--written for thee.

  "'Come wander with me,' she said,
    'Into regions yet untrod;
  And read what is still unread,
    In the manuscripts of God.'

  "And he wandered away and away
    With Nature, the dear old nurse,
  Who sang to him, night and day,
    The rhymes of the universe.

  "And whenever the way seemed long,
    Or his heart began to fail,
  She--would sing a more wonderful song,
    Or tell a more marvellous tale."

Through the long centuries Nature has been the mother, nurse, and
teacher of man.

_Other Mother-Goddesses_.

Among other "mother-goddesses" of ancient Italy we find _Maia
Mater_, _Flora Mater_, both deities of growth and reproduction;
_Lua Mater_, "the loosing mother," a goddess of death; _Acca
Larentia_, the mother of the Lares (_Acca_ perhaps =
_Atta_, a child-word for mother, as Lippert suggests); _Mater
matuta_, "mother of the dawn," a goddess of child-birth, worshipped
especially by married women, and to whom there was erected a temple at

The mother-goddesses of Germany are quite numerous. Among those minor
ones cited by Grimm and Simrock, are: Haulemutter, Mutter Holle, the
Klagemütter or Klagemuhmen, Pudelmutter (a name applied to the goddess
Berchta), Etelmutter, Kornmutter, Roggenmutter, Mutterkorn, and the
interesting Buschgroszmutter, "bush grandmother," as the "Queen of the
Wood-Folk" is called. Here the mother-feeling has been so strong as to
grant to even the devil a mother and a grandmother, who figure in many
proverbs and folk-locutions. When the question is asked a Mecklenburger,
concerning a social gathering: "Who was there?" he may answer: "The
devil and his mother (_möm_)"; when a whirlwind occurs, the saying
is: "The Devil is dancing with his grandmother."

In China the position of woman is very low, and, as Mr. Douglas points
out: "It is only when a woman becomes a mother that she receives the
respect which is by right due to her, and then the inferiority of her
sex disappears before the requirements of filial love, which is the
crown and glory of China" (434. 125).

In Chinese cosmogony and mythology motherhood finds recognition. Besides
the great Earth-Mother, we meet with Se-wang-moo, the "Western Royal
Mother," a goddess of fairy-land, and the "Mother of Lightning," thunder
being considered the "father and teacher of all living beings."
Lieh-tze, a philosopher of the fifth century B.C., taught: "My body is
not my own; I am merely an inhabitant of it for the time being, and
shall resign it when I return to the 'Abyss Mother'" (434. 222, 225,

In the Flowery Kingdom there is also a sect "who worship the goddess
Pity, in the form of a woman holding a child in her arms."

Among the deities and semi-deities of the Andaman Islanders are
_chän·a·ê·lewadi_, the "mother of the race,"--Mother E·lewadi;
_chän·a·erep_, _chän·a·châ·riâ_, _chän·a·te·liu_,
_chän·a·li·mi_, _chän·a·jär·a·ngûd_, all inventors and
discoverers of foods and the arts. In the religious system of the
Andaman Islanders, _Pû·luga-_, the Supreme Being, by whom were
created "the world and all objects, animate and inanimate, excepting
only the powers of evil," and of whom it is said, "though his appearance
is like fire, yet he is (nowadays) invisible," is "believed to live in a
large stone house in the sky with a wife whom he created for himself;
she is green in appearance, and has two names, _chän·a·àu·lola_
(Mother Freshwater Shrimp) and _chän·a·pâ·lak-_--(Mother Eel); by
her he has a large family, all except the eldest being girls; these
last, known as _mô·ro-win--_ (sky-spirits or angels), are said to be
black in appearance, and, with their mother, amuse themselves from time
to time by throwing fish and prawns into the streams and sea for the use
of the inhabitants of the world" (498. 90). With these people also the
first woman was _chän·a·ê·lewadi_ (Mother E-lewadi), the ancestress
of the present race of natives. She was drowned, while canoeing, and
"became a small crab of a description still named after her
_ê·lewadi_" (498. 96):

Quite frequently we find that primitive peoples have ascribed the origin
of the arts or of the good things of life to women whom they have
canonized as saints or apotheosized into deities.

We may close our consideration of motherhood and what it has given the
world with the apt words of Zmigrodzki:--

"The history of the civilization (Kulturgeschichte) of our race, is, so
to speak, _the history of the mother-influence_. Our ideas of
morality, justice, order, all these are simply _mother-ideas_. The
mother began our culture in that epoch in which, like the man, she was
_autodidactic_. In the epoch of the Church Fathers, the highly
educated mother saved our civilization and gave it a new turn, and only
the highly educated mother will save us out of the moral corruption of
our age. Taken individually also, we can mark the ennobling, elevating
influence which educated mothers have exercised over our great men. Let
us strive as much as possible to have highly accomplished mothers,
wives, friends, and then the wounds which we receive in the struggle for
life will not bleed as they do now" (174. 367).

The history of civilization is the story of the mother, a story that
stales not with repetition. Richter, in his _Levana_, makes
eloquent appeal:--

"Never, never has one forgotten his pure, right-educating mother! On the
blue mountains of our dim childhood, towards which we ever turn and
look, stand the mothers who marked out for us from thence our life; the
most blessed age must be forgotten ere we can forget the warmest heart.
You wish, O woman, to be ardently loved, and forever, even till death.
Be, then, the mothers of your children."

Tennyson in _The Foresters_ uses these beautiful words: "Every man
for the sake of the great blessed Mother in heaven, and for the love of
his own little mother on earth, should handle all womankind gently, and
hold them in all honour." Herein lies the whole philosophy of life. The
ancient Germans were right, who, as Tacitus tells us, saw in woman
_sanctum aliquid et providum_, as indeed the Modern German
_Weib_ (cognate with our _wife_) also declares, the original
signification of the word being "the animated, the inspirited."



If the paternal cottage still shuts us in, its roof still screens us;
and with a father, we have as yet a prophet, priest, and king, and an
obedience that makes us free.--_Carlyle_.

To you your father should be as a god.--_Shakespeare_.

Our Father, who art in Heaven.--_Jesus_.

  Father of all! in every age,
  In every clime adored,
  By saint, by savage, and by sage,
  Jehovah, Jove, or Lord.--_Pope_.

_Names of the Father._

_Father_, like _mother_, is a very old word, and goes back,
with the cognate terms in Italic, Hellenic, Teutonic, Celtic, Slavonic,
and Indo-Aryan speech, to the primitive Indo-European language, and,
like _mother_, it is of uncertain etymology.

An English preacher of the twelfth century sought to derive the word
from the Anglo-Saxon _fédan_, "to feed," making the "father" to be
the "feeder" or "nourisher," and some more modern attempts at
explanation are hardly better. This etymology, however incorrect, as it
certainly is, in English, does find analogies in the tongues of
primitive peoples. In the language of the Klamath Indians, of Oregon,
the word for "father" is _t'shishap_ (in the Modoc dialect,
_p'tishap_), meaning "feeder, nourisher," from a radical
_tshi_, which signifies "to give somebody liquid food (as milk,
water)." Whether there is any real connection between our word
_pap_,--with its cognates in other languages,--which signifies
"food for infants," as well as "teat, breast," and the child-word
_papa_, "father," is doubtful, and the same may be said of the
attempt to find a relation between _teat, tit_, etc., and the
widespread child-words for "father," _tat_, _dad_. Wedgewood
(Introd. to _Dictionary_), however, maintained that: "Words formed
of the simplest articulations, _ma_ and _pa_, are used to
designate the objects in which the infant takes the earliest
interest,--the mother, the father, the mother's breast, the act of
taking or sucking food." Tylor also points out how, in the language of
children of to-day, we may find a key to the origin of a mass of words
for "father, mother, grandmother, aunt, child, breast, toy, doll," etc.
From the limited supply of material at the disposal of the early
speakers of a language, we can readily understand how the same sound had
to serve for the connotation of different ideas; this is why
"_mama_ means in one tongue _mother_, in another
_father_, in a third, _uncle_; _dada_ in one language
_father_, in a second _nurse_, in another _breast_;
_tata_ in one language _father_, in another _son_," etc.
The primitive Indo-European _p-tr_, Skeat takes to be formed, with
the agent-suffix _tr_, from the radical _pâ_, "to protect, to
guard,"--the father having been originally looked upon as the
"protector," or "guarder." Max Müller, who offers the same derivation,
remarks: "The father, as begetter, was called in Sanskrit
_ganitár_, as protector and supporter of his posterity, however,
_pitár_. For this reason, in the Veda both names together are used
in order to give the complete idea of 'father.' In like manner,
_mâtar_, 'mother,' is joined with _ganit_, 'genetrix,' and
this shows that the word _mâtar_ must have soon lost its
etymological signification and come to be a term, of respect and caress.
With the oldest Indo-Europeans, _mâtar_ meant 'maker,' from
_mâ_, 'to form.'"

Kluge, however, seems to reject the interpretation "protector,
defender," and to see in the word a derivative from the "nature-sound"
_pa_. So also Westermarck (166. 86-94). In Gothic, presumably the
oldest of the Teutonic dialects, the most common word for "father" is
_atta_, still seen in the name of the far-famed leader of the Huns,
_Attila_, i.e. "little father," and in the _ätti_ of modern
Swiss dialects. To the same root attach themselves Sanskrit _atta_,
"mother, elder sister"; Ossetic _ädda_, "little father
(Väterchen)"; Greek _årra_, Latin _atta_, "father"; Old
Slavonic _otí-ci_, "little father"; Old Irish _aite_,
"foster-father." _Atta_ belongs to the category of "nature-words"
or "nursery-words" of which our _dad_ (_daddy_) is also a

Another member is the widespread _papa, pa._ Our word _papa_,
Skeat thinks, is borrowed, through the French, from Latin _papa_,
found as a Roman cognomen. This goes back in all probability to ancient
Greek, for, in the Odyssey (vi. 57), Nausicaa addresses her father as
[Greek: pappa phile], "dear _papa_." The Papa of German is also
borrowed from French, and, according to Kluge, did not secure a firm,
place in the language until comparatively late in the eighteenth

In some of the Semitic languages the word for "father" signifies
"maker," and the same thing occurs elsewhere among primitive people
(166. 91).

As with "mother," so with "father"; in many languages a man (or a boy)
does not employ the same term as a woman (or a girl). In the Haida,
Okanak'en, and Kootenay, all Indian languages of British Columbia, the
words used by males and by females are, respectively: _kun, qat;
lEe'u, mistm; tito, so._

In many languages the word for "father," as is also the case with
"mother," is different when the parent is addressed from that used when
he is spoken of or referred to. In the Tsimshian, Kwakiutl, Nootka,
Ntlakyapamuq, four Indian languages of British Columbia, the words for
"father" when addressed, are respectively _a'bo, ats, no'we, pap,_
and for "father" in other cases, _nEgua'at, au'mp, nuwe'k'so,
ska'tsa._ Here, again, it will be noticed that the words used in
address seem shorter and more primitive in character.

In the Chinantee language of Mexico, _nuh_ signifies at the same
time "father" and "man." In Gothic _aba_ means both "father" and
"husband" (492. 33). Here belongs also perhaps the familiar "father"
with which the New England housewife was wont to address her husband.

With many peoples the name "father" is applied to others than the male
parent of the child. The following remarks of McLennan, regarding the
Tamil and Telugu of India, will stand for not a few other primitive
tribes: "All the brothers of a father are usually called fathers, but,
in strictness, those who are older than the father are called _great
fathers_, and those who are younger, _little fathers_. With the
Puharies, all the brothers of a father are equally fathers to his
children." In Hawaii, the term "male parent" "applied equally to the
father, to the uncles, and even to distant relations." In Japan, the
paternal uncle is called "little father" and the maternal uncle "second
little father" (100. 389, 391).

A lengthy discussion of these terms, with a wealth of illustration from
many primitive languages, will be found in Westermarck (166. 86-94).


Of the Roman family it has been said: "It was a community comprising men
and things. The members were maintained by adoption as well as by
consanguinity. The father was before all things the chief, the general
administrator. He was called father even when he had no son; paternity
was a question of law, not one of persons. The heir is no more than the
continuing line of the deceased person; he was heir in spite of himself
for the honour of the defunct, for the lares, the hearth, the manes, and
the hereditary sepulchre" (100. 423). In ancient Rome the
_paterfamilias_ and the _patina potestas_ are seen in their
extreme types. Letourneau remarks further: "Absolute master, both of
things and of people, the paterfamilias had the right to kill his wife
and to sell his sons. Priest and king in turn, it was he who represented
the family in their domestic worship; and when, after his death, he was
laid by the side of his ancestors in the common tomb, he was deified,
and helped to swell the number of the household gods" (100. 433).

Post thus defines the system of "father-right":--

"In the system of 'father-right' the child is related only to the father
and to the persons connected with him through the male line, but not
with his mother and the persons connected with him through the female
line. The narrowest group organized according to father-right consists
of the father and his children. The mother, for the most part, appears
in the condition of a slave to the husband. To the patriarchal family in
the wider sense belong the children of the sons of the father, but not
the children of his daughters; the brothers and sisters of the same
father, but not those merely related to the same mother; the children of
the brother of the same father, but not the children of the sisters of
the same father, etc. With every wife the relationship ceases every
time" (127. I. 24).

The system of father-right is found scattered over the whole globe. It
is found among the Indo-European peoples (Aryans of Asia, Germans,
Slavs, Celts, Romans), the Mongol-Tartar tribes, Chinese, Japanese, and
some of the Semitic nations; in northern Africa and scattered through
the western part of the continent, among the Kaffirs and Hottentots;
among some tribes in Australia and Polynesia and the two Americas (the
culture races).

The position of the father among those peoples with whom strict
mother-right prevails is thus sketched by Zmigrodski (174.206):--

"The only certain thing was motherhood and the maternal side of the
family,--mother, daughter, granddaughter, that was the fixed stem
continuing with certainty. Father, son, grandson, were only the leaves,
which existed only until the autumnal wind of death tore them away, to
hurl them into the abyss of oblivion. In that epoch no one said, 'I am
the son of such a father and the grandson of such a grandfather,' but 'I
am the son of such a mother and the grandson of such a grandmother.' The
inheritance went not to the son and grandson, but to the daughter and to
the granddaughter, and the sons received a dowry as do the daughters in
our society of to-day. In marriage the woman did not assume the name of
the man, but _vice versa._ The husband of a woman, although the
father of her children, was considered not so near a relative of them as
the wife's brother, their uncle."

Dr. Brinton says, concerning mother-right among the Indians of North
America (412. 48):--

"Her children looked upon her as their parent, but esteemed their father
as no relation whatever. An unusually kind and intelligent Kolosch
Indian was chided by a missionary for allowing his father to suffer for
food. 'Let him go to his own people,' replied the Kolosch, 'they should
look after him.' He did not regard a man as in any way related or bound
to his paternal parent."

In a certain Polynesian mythological tale, the hero is a young man, "the
name of whose father had never been told by his mother," and this has
many modern parallels (115. 97). On the Gold Coast of West Africa there
is a proverb, "Wise is the son that knows his own father" (127.1. 24), a
saying found elsewhere in the world,--indeed, we have it also in
English, and Shakespeare presents but another view of it when he tells
us: "It is a wise father that knows his own child."

In many myths and folk-and fairy-tales of all peoples the discovery by
the child of its parent forms the climax, or at least one of the chief
features of the plot; and we have also those stories which tell how
parents have been killed unwittingly by their own children, or children
have been slain unawares by their parents.


In his interesting study of "Royalty and Divinity" (75), Dr. von Held
has pointed out many resemblances between the primitive concepts "King"
and "God." Both, it would seem, stand in close connection with "Father."
To quote from Dr. von Held: "Fathership (Vaterschaft,
_patriarcha_), lordship (Herrentum), and kingship (Konigtum) are,
therefore (like _rex_ and [Greek: _Basileus_]), ideas not only
linguistically, but, to even a greater degree really, cognate, having
altogether very close relationship to the word and idea 'God.' Of
necessity they involve the existence and idea of a people, and therefore
are related not only to the world of faith, but also to that of
intellect and of material things."

The Emperor of China is the "father and mother of the empire," his
millions of subjects being his "children"; and the ancient Romans had no
nobler title for their emperor than _pater patrice_, the "father of
his country," an appellation bestowed in these later days upon the
immortal first President of the United States.

In the Yajnavalkya, one of the old Sanskrit law-books, the king is
bidden to be "towards servants and subjects as a father" (75. 122), and
even Mirabeau and Gregoire, in the first months of the States-General,
termed the king "le pere de tous les Franqais," while Louis XII. and
Henry IV. of France, as well as Christian III. of Denmark, had given to
them the title "father of the people." The name _pater patrice_ was
not borne by the Caesars alone, for the Roman Senate conferred the title
upon Cicero, and offered it to Marius, who refused to accept it. "Father
of his Country" was the appellation of Cosmo de' Medici, and the Genoese
inscribed the same title upon the base of the statue erected to Andrea
Doria. One of the later Byzantine Emperors, Andronicus Palæologus, even
went so far as to assume this honoured title. Nor has the name "Father
of the People" been confined to kings, for it has been given also to
Gabriel du Pineau, a French lawyer of the seventeenth century.

The "divinity that doth hedge a king" and the fatherhood of the
sovereign reach their acme in Peru, where the Inca was king, father,
even god, and the halo of "divine right" has not ceased even yet to
encircle the brows of the absolute monarchs of Europe and the East.

_Landesvater_ (Vater des Volkes) is the proudest designation of the
German Kaiser. "Little Father" is alike the literal meaning of
_Attila_, the name of the far-famed leader of the "Huns," in the
dark ages of Europe, and of _batyushka_, the affectionate term by
which the peasant of Russia speaks of the Czar.

_Nana_, "Grandfather," is the title of the king of Ashanti in
Africa, and "Sire" was long in France and England a respectful form of
address to the monarch.

Some of the aboriginal tribes of America have conferred upon the
President of the United States the name of the "Great Father at
Washington," the "Great White Father," and "Father" was a term they were
wont to apply to governors, generals, and other great men of the whites
with whom they came into contact.

The father as head of the family is the basis of the idea of
"father-king." This is seen among the Matchlapis, a Kaffir tribe, where
"those who own a sufficient number of cattle to maintain a family have
the right to the title of chief"; this resembles the institution of the
_pater familias_ in ancient Latium (100. 459,533).

Dr. von Held thus expresses himself upon this point: "The first, and one
may say also the last, naturally necessary society of man is the family
in the manifold forms out of which it has been historically developed.
Its beginning and its apex are, under given culture-conditions, the man
who founds it, the father. What first brought man experientially to
creation as a work of love was fatherhood. This view is not altered by
the fact that the father, in order to preserve, or, what is the same, to
continue to produce, to bring up, must command, force, punish. If the
family depends on no higher right, it yet appears as the first state,
and then the father appears not only as father, but also as king" (75.

The occurrence to-day of "King" as a surname takes us back to a time
when the head of the family enjoyed the proud title, which the Romans
conferred upon Cæsar Augustus, _Pater et Princeps_, the natural
development from Ovid's _virque paterque gregis_.

The Romans called their senators _patres_, and we now speak of the
"city fathers," aldermen, _elder_men, in older English, and the
"fathers" of many a primitive people are its rulers and legislators. The
term "father" we apply also to those who were monarchs and chiefs in
realms of human activity other than that of politics. Following in the
footsteps of the Latins, who spoke of Zeno as _Pater stoicorum_, of
Herodotus as _Pater historioe_, and even of the host of an inn as
_Pater cenoe_, we speak of "fathering" an idea, a plot, and the
like, and denominate "father," the pioneer scientists, inventors, sages,
poets, chroniclers of the race.

From _pater_ the Romans derived _patrimonium_, patrimony,
"what was inherited from the father," an interesting contrast to
_matrimonium_; _patronus_, "patron, defender, master of
slaves"; _patria_ (_terra_), "fatherland,"--Ovid uses
_paterna terra_, and Horace speaks of _paternum flumen_;
_patricius_, "of fatherly dignity, high-born, patrician," etc. Word
after word in the classic tongues speaks of the exalted position of the
father, and many of these have come into our own language through the
influence of the peoples of the Mediterranean.


Said Henry Ward Beecher: "Look at home, father-priest, mother-priest;
your church is a hundred-fold heavier responsibility than mine can be.
Your priesthood is from God's own hands." The priesthood of the father
is widespread. Mr. Gomme tells us: "Certainly among the Hindus, the
Greeks, the Romans, and, so late down as Tacitus, the Germans, the
house-father was priest and judge in his own clan" (461.104). Max Müller
speaks to the same effect: "If we trace religion back to the family, the
father or head of the family is _ipso facto_ the priest. When
families grew into clans, and clans into tribes and confederacies, a
necessity would arise of delegating to some heads of families the
performance of duties which, from having been the spontaneous acts of
individuals, had become the traditional acts of families and clans"
(510.183). Africa, Asia, America, furnish us abundant evidence of this.
Our own language testifies to it also. We speak of the "Fathers of the
Church,"--_patres_, as they were called,--and the term "Father" is
applied to an ecclesiastic of the Roman Catholic Church, just as in the
Romance languages of Europe the descendants of the Latin _pater_
(French _pere_, Spanish _padre_, Italian _padre_, etc.)
are used to denote the same personage. In Russian an endearing term for
"priest" is _batyushka_, "father dear"; the word for a
village-priest, sometimes used disrespectfully, is _pop_. This
latter name is identical with the title of the head of the great
Catholic Church, the "Holy Father," at Rome, viz. _papa_,
signifying literally "papa, father," given in the early days of Latin
Christianity, and the source of our word _Pope_ and its cognates in
the various tongues of modern Europe. The head of an abbey we call an
_abbot_, a name coming, through the Church-Latin _abbas_, from
the Syriac _abba_, "father"; here again recurs the correlation of
priest and father. It is interesting to note that both the words
_papa_ and _abba_, which we have just discussed, and which are
of such importance in the history of religion, are child-words for
"father," bearing evidence of the lasting influence of the child in this
sphere of human activity. Among the ancient Romans we find a _pater
patratus_, whose duty it was to ratify treaties with the proper
religious rites. Dr. von Held is of opinion that, "in the case of a
special priesthood, it is not so much the character of its members as
spiritual fathers, as their calling of servants of God, of servants of a
Father-God, which causes them to be termed fathers, papas" (75. 120).


Shakespeare has aptly said, in the words which Theseus addresses to the
fair Hermia:--

 "To you your father should be as a god;
  One that composed your beauties, yea, and one
  To whom you are but as a form in wax,
  By him imprinted, and within his power
  To leave the figure or disfigure it,"

and widespread indeed, in the childhood of the race, has been the belief
in the Fatherhood of God. Concerning the first parents of human kind the
ancient Hebrew Scripture declares: "And God created man in His own
image," and long centuries afterwards, in his memorable oration to the
wise men of Athens upon Mars' Hill, the Apostle Paul quoted with
approval the words of the Greek poet, Cleanthes, who had said: "For we
are all His off-spring." Epictetus, appealing to a master on behalf of
his slaves, asked: "Wilt thou not remember over whom thou rulest, that
they are thy relations, thy brethren by nature, the offspring of Zeus?"

At the battle of Kadshu, Rameses II., of Egypt, abandoned by his
soldiers, as a last appeal, exclaimed: "I will call upon thee, O my
father Amon!" (388. 209).

Many prophets and preachers have there been who taught to men the
doctrine of "God, the Father," but last and best of all was the "Son of
Man," the Christ, who taught his disciples the world-heard prayer: "Our
Father, who art in Heaven," who pro-claimed that "in my Father's house
are many mansions," and whose words in the agony of Gethsemane were:
"Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; remove this cup from
me: howbeit not what I will, but what Thou wilt."

Between the Buddhist Kalmucks, with whom the newly married couple
reverently utter these words: "I incline myself this first time to my
Lord God, who is my father and my mother" (518. I. 423), and the deistic
philosophers of to-day there is a vast gulf, as there is also between
the idea of Deity among the Cakchiquel Indians of Guatemala, where the
words for God _alom_ and _achalom_ signify respectively
"begetter of children," and "begetter of sons," and the modern Christian
concept of God, the Father, with His only begotten Son, the Saviour of
the world.

The society of the gods of human creation has everywhere been modelled
upon that of man. He was right who said Olympus was a Greek city and
Zeus a Greek father. According to D'Alviella: "The highest point of
development that polytheism could reach is found in the conception of a
monarchy or divine family, embracing all terrestrial beings, and even
the whole universe. The divine monarch or father, however, might still
be no more than the first among his peers. For the supreme god to become
the Only God, he must rise above all beings, superhuman as well as
human, not only in his power, but in his very nature" (388. 211).

Though the mythology of our Teutonic forefathers knew of the
"All-Father,"--the holy Odin,--it is from those children-loving people,
the Hebrews, that our Christian conception of "God the Father," with
some modifications, is derived. As Professor Robertson Smith has pointed
out, among the Semites we find the idea of the tribal god as father
strongly developed: "But in heathen religions the fatherhood of the gods
is a physical fatherhood. Among the Greeks, for example, the idea that
the gods fashioned men out of clay, as potters fashion images, is
relatively modern. The older conception is that the races of men have
gods for their ancestors, or are the children of the earth, the common
mother of gods and men, so that men are really of the same stock or kin
of the gods. That the same conception was familiar to the older Semites
appears from the Bible. Jeremiah describes idolaters as saying to a
stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth.
In the ancient poem, Num. xxi. 29, the Moabites are called the sons and
daughters of Chemosh, and, at a much more recent date, the prophet
Malachi calls a heathen woman, 'the daughter of a strange god'" (535.

Professor Smith cites also the evidence furnished by genealogies and
personal names: "The father of Solomon's ally, Hiram, King of Tyre, was
called _Abibaal_, 'my father is Baal'; Ben-Hadad, of Damascus, is
'the son of the god Hadad'; in Aramæan we find names like
_Barlâhâ_, 'son of God,' _Barba'shmîn_, 'son of the Lord of
Heaven,' _Barate_, 'son of Ate,' etc." We have also that passage in
Genesis which tells how the "sons of God saw the daughters of men that
were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose" (vi. 2),
while an echo of the same thought dwells with the Polynesians, who term
illegitimate children _tamarika na te Atua_, "children of the gods"
(458. 121). D'Alviella further remarks: "Presently these family
relations of the gods were extended till they embraced the whole
creation, and especially mankind. The confusion between the terms for
creating and begetting, which still maintained itself in half-developed
languages, must have led to a spontaneous fusion of the ideas of creator
and father." But there is another aspect of this question. Of the
Amazulu Callaway writes: "Speaking generally, the head of each house is
worshipped by the children of that house; for they do not know the
ancients who are dead, nor their laud-giving names, nor their names. But
their father whom they knew is the head by whom they begin and end in
their prayer, for they know him best, and his love for his children;
they remember his kindness to them whilst he was living; they compare
his treatment of them whilst he was living, support themselves by it,
and say, 'He will treat us in the same way now he is dead. We do not
know why he should regard others beside us; he will regard us only.'" Of
these people it is true, as they themselves say: "Our father is a great
treasure to us, even when he is dead" (417.144).

Here we pass over to ancestor worship, seen at its height in China,
whose great sage, Confucius, taught: "The great object of marriage is to
beget children, and especially sons, who may perform the required
sacrifices at the tombs of their parents" (434. 126).

In this connection, the following passage from Max Müller is of
interest: "How religious ideas could spring from the perception of
something infinite or immortal in our parents, grandparents, and
ancestors, we can see even at the present day. Among the Zulus, for
instance, _Unkulunkulu_ or _Ukulukulu_, which means the
great-great-grandfather, has become the name of God. It is true that
each family has its own _Unkulunkulu,_ and that his name varies
accordingly. But there is also an _Unkulunkulu_ of all men
(_unkulunladu wabantu bonke_), and he comes very near to being a
father of all men. Here also we can watch a very natural process of
reasoning. A son would look upon his father as his progenitor; he would
remember his father's father, possibly his father's grandfather. But
beyond that his own experience could hardly go, and therefore the father
of his own great-grandfather, of whom he might have heard, but whom he
had never seen, would naturally assume the character of a distant
unknown being; and, if the human mind ascended still further, it would
almost by necessity be driven to a father of all fathers, that is to a
creator of mankind, if not of the world" (510. 156).

Again we reach the "Father" of Pope's "Universal Prayer"--

  "Father of all! in every age,
     In every clime adored,
   By saint, by savage, and by sage,
     Jehovah, Jove, or Lord,"

having started from the same thought as the Hebrews in the infancy of
their race. An Eastern legend of the child Abraham has crystallized the
idea. It is said that one morning, while with his mother in the cave in
which they were hiding from Nimrod, he asked his mother, "Who is my
God?" and she replied, "It is I." "And who is thy God?" he inquired
farther. "Thy father" (547.69). Hence also we derive the declaration of
Du Vair, "Nous devons tenir nos pères comme des dieux en terre," and the
statement of another French writer, of whom Westermarck says: "Bodin
wrote, in the later part of the sixteenth century, that, though the
monarch commands his subjects, the master his disciples, the captain his
soldiers, there is none to whom nature has given any command except the
father, 'who is the true image of the great sovereign God, universal
father of all things'" (166. 238).


  "Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
  The bridal of the earth and sky,"

sang the poet Herbert, unconsciously renewing an ancient myth. As many
cosmologies tell, Day and Dawn were born of the embraces of Earth and
Sky. Ushas, Eos, Aurora, is the daughter of heaven, and one story of the
birth is contained in the Maori myth of Papa and Rangi. Ushas, Max
Muller tells us, "has two parents, heaven and earth, whose lap she fills
with light" (510. 431). From Rangi, "Father-Sky," and Papa,
"Mother-Earth," say the Maoris of New Zealand, sprang all living things;
and, in like manner, the Chinese consider the Sky or Heaven,--Yang, the
masculine, procreative, active element,--to be the "father of all
things," while the Earth,--Yu, the feminine, conceiving, passive
element,--is the "mother of all things." From the union of these two
everything in existence has arisen, and consequently resembles the one
or the other (529. 107).

Among the primitive Aryans, the Sky, or Heaven God, was called "Father,"
as shown by the Sanskrit _Dyaus Pitâr_, Greek _Zeus Patær_,
Latin _Jupiter_, all of which names signify "sky father." Dyaus is
also called _janitâr_, "producer, father," and Zeus, the "eternal
father of men," the "father of gods and men, the ruler and preserver of
the world." In the Vedic hymns are invocations of Dyaus (Sky), as "our
Father," and of Prithivi (Earth), as "our Mother" (388. 210).

Dyaus symbolizes the "bright sky"; from the same primitive Indo-European
root come the Latin words _dies_ (day), _deus_ or _divus_
(god); the dark sombre vault of heaven is Varuna, the Greek [Greek:
_Ouranós_], Latin _Uranus_.

Other instances of the bridal of earth and sky,--of "mother earth," and
"father sky,"--are found among the tribes of the Baltic, the Lapps, the
Finns (who have Ukko, "Father Heaven," Akka, "Mother Earth"), and other
more barbaric peoples.

In Ashanti, the new deity, which the introduction of Christianity has
added to the native pantheon, is called _Nana Nyankupon_,
"Grandfather-sky" (438. 24).

The shaman of the Buryats of Alarsk prays to "Father Heaven"; in the
Altai Mountains the prayer is to

  "Father Yulgen, thrice exalted,
  Whom the edge of the moon's axe shuns,
  Who uses the hoof of the horse.
  Thou, Yulgen, hast created all men,
  Who are stirring round about us,
  Thou, Yulgen, hast endowed us with all cattle;
  Let us not fall into sorrow!
  Grant that we may resist the evil one!" (504. 70, 77).

We too have recollections of that "Father-Sky," whom our far-off
ancestors adored, the bright, glad, cheerful sky, the "ancestor of all."
Max Müller has summed up the facts of our inheritance in brief terms:--

"Remember that this _Dyaush Pitar_ is the same as the Greek [Greek:
_Zeus Patær_], and the Latin _Jupiter_, and you will see how
this one word shows us the easy, the natural, the almost inevitable
transition from the conception of the active sky as a purely physical
fact, to the _Father-Sky_ with all his mythological accidents, and
lastly to that Father in heaven whom Æschylus meant when he burst out in
his majestic prayer to Zeus, _whosoever he is_" (510. 410).

Unnumbered centuries have passed, but the "witchery of the soft blue
sky" has still firm hold upon the race, and we are, as of old, children
of "our Father, who art in Heaven."


Montesinos tells us that Viracocha, "sea-foam," the Peruvian god of the
sea, was regarded as the source of all life and the origin of all
things,--world-tiller, world-animator, he was called (509. 316).
Xenophanes of Kolophon, a Greek philosopher of the sixth century B.C.,
taught that "the mighty sea is the father of clouds and winds and
rivers." In Greek mythology Oceanus is said to be the father of the
principal rivers of earth. Neptune, the god of the sea,--"Father
Neptune," he is sometimes called,--had his analogue in a deity whom the
Libyans looked upon as "the first and greatest of the gods." To Neptune,
as the "Father of Streams," the Romans erected a temple in the Campus
Martius and held games and feasts in his honour. The sea was also spoken
of as _pater aequoreus_.


The name "Father of Waters" is assigned, incorrectly perhaps, to certain
American Indian languages, as an appellation of the Mississippi. From
Macaulay's "Lay of Horatius," we all know

  "O Tiber, Father Tiber,
  To whom the Romans pray,"

and "Father Thames" is a favourite epithet of the great English river.


In our English nursery-lore the frost is personified as a mischievous
boy, "Jack Frost," to whose pranks its vagaries are due. In old Norse
mythology we read of the terrible "Frost Giants," offspring of Ymir,
born of the ice of Niflheim, which the warmth exhaled from the sun-lit
land of Muspelheim caused to drop off into the great Ginnunga-gap, the
void that once was where earth is now. In his "Frost Spirit" Whittier
has preserved something of the ancient grimness.

We speak commonly of the "Frost-King," whose fetters bind the earth in

In Russia the frost is called "Father Frost," and is personified as a
white old man, or "a mighty smith who forges strong chains with which to
bind the earth and the waters," and on Christmas Eve "the oldest man in
each family takes a spoonful of kissel (a sort of pudding), and then,
having put his head through the window, cries: 'Frost, Frost, come and
eat kissel! Frost, Frost, do not kill our oats! Drive our flax and hemp
deep into the ground'" (520.223-230).

Quite different is the idea contained in Grimm's tale of "Old Mother
Frost,"--the old woman, the shaking of whose bed in the making causes
the feathers to fly, and "then it snows on earth."

_Father Fire_.

Fire has received worship and apotheosis in many parts of the globe. The
Muskogee Indians of the southeastern United States "gave to fire the
highest Indian title of honour, _grandfather_, and their priests
were called 'fire-makers'" (529. 68). The ancient Aztecs called the god
of fire "the oldest of the gods, _Huehueteotl_, and also 'our
Father,' _Tota_, as it was believed that from him all things were
derived." He was supposed "to govern the generative proclivities and the
sexual relations," and he was sometimes called _Xiuhtecutli_, "'God
of the Green Leaf,' that is, of vegetable fecundity and productiveness."
He was worshipped as "the life-giver, the active generator of animate
existence,"--the "primal element and the immediate source of life"
(413). These old Americans were in accord with the philosopher,
Heraclitus of Ephesus, who held that "fire is the element, and all
things were produced in exchange for fire"; and Heraclitus, in the
fragments in which he speaks of "God," the "one wise," that which "knows
all things," means "Fire." In the rites of the Nagualists occurs a
"baptism by fire," which was "celebrated on the fourth day after the
birth of the child, during which time it was deemed essential to keep
the fire burning in the house, but not to permit any of it to be carried
out, as that would bring bad luck to the child," and, in the work of one
of the Spanish priests, a protest is made: "Nor must the lying-in women
and their assistants be permitted to speak of Fire as the father and
mother of all things, and the author of nature; because it is a common
saying with them that Fire is present at the birth and death of every
creature." It appears also that the Indians who followed this strange
cult were wont to speak of "what the Fire said and how the Fire wept"
(413. 45-46).

Among various other peoples, fire is regarded as auspicious to children;
its sacred character is widely recognized. In the Zend-Avesta, the
Bible of the ancient Persians, whose religion survives in the cult of
the Parsees, now chiefly resident in Bombay and its environs, we read of
Ahura-Mazda, the "Wise Lord," the "Father of the pure world," the "best
thing of all, the source of light for the world." Purest and most sacred
of all created things was fire, light (421. 32). In the Sar Dar, one of
the Parsee sacred books, the people are bidden to "keep a continual fire
in the house during a woman's pregnancy, and, after the child is born,
to burn a lamp [or, better, a fire] for three nights and days, so that
the demons and fiends may not be able to do any damage and harm." It is
said that when Zoroaster, the founder of the ancient religion of Persia,
was born, "a demon came at the head of a hundred and fifty other demons,
every night for three nights, to slay him, but they were put to flight
by seeing the fire, and were consequently unable to hurt him" (258. 96).

In ancient Rome, among the Lithuanians on the shores of the Baltic, in
Ireland, in England, Denmark, Germany, "while a child remained
unbaptized," it was, or is, necessary "to burn a light in the chamber."
And in the island of Lewis, off the northwestern coast of Scotland,
"fire used to be carried round women before they were churched, and
children before they were christened, both night and morning; and this
was held effectual to preserve both mother and infant from evil spirits,
and (in the case of the infant) from being changed."

In the Gypsy mountain villages of Upper Hungary, during the baptism of a
child, the women kindle in the hut a little fire, over which the mother
with the baptized infant must step, in order that milk may not fail her
while the child is being suckled (392. II. 21).

In the East Indies, the mother with her new-born child is made to pass
between two fires.

Somewhat similar customs are known to have existed in northern and
western Europe; in Ireland and Scotland especially, where children were
made to pass through or leap over the fire.

To Moloch ("King"), their god of fire, the Phoenicians used to sacrifice
the first-born of their noblest families. A later development of this
cult seems to have consisted in making the child pass between two fires,
or over or through a fire. This "baptism of fire" or "purification by
fire," was in practice among the ancient Aztecs of Mexico. To the second
water-baptism was added the fire-baptism, in which the child was drawn
through the fire four times (509. 653).

Among the Tarahumari Indians of the Mexican Sierra Madre, the
medicine-man "cures" the infant, "so that it may become strong and
healthy, and live a long life." The ceremony is thus described by
Lumholtz: "A big fire of corn-cobs, or of the branches of the
mountain-cedar, is made near the cross [outside the house], and the baby
is carried over the smoke three times towards each cardinal-point, and
also three times backward. The motion is first toward the east, then
toward the west, then south, then north. The smoke of the corn-cobs
assures him of success in agriculture. With a fire-brand the
medicine-man makes three crosses on the child's forehead, if it is a
boy, and four, if a girl" (107. 298).

Among certain South American tribes the child and the mother are
"smoked" with tobacco (326. II. 194).

With marriage, too, fire is associated. In Yucatan, at the betrothal,
the priest held the little fingers of bridegroom and bride to the fire
(509. 504), and in Germany, the maiden, on Christmas night, looks into
the hearth-fire to discover there the features of her future husband
(392. IV. 82). Rademacher (130a) has called attention to the great
importance of the hearth and the fireplace in family life. In the Black
Forest the stove is invoked in these terms: "Dear oven, I beseech thee,
if thou hast a wife, I would have a man" (130 a. 60). Among the White
Russians, before the wedding, the house of the bridegroom and that of
the bride are "cleansed from evil spirits," by burning a heap of straw
in the middle of the living-room, and at the beginning of the
ceremonies, after they have been elevated upon a cask, as "Prince" and
"Princess," the guests, with the wedding cake and two tapers in their
hands, go round the cask three times, and with the tapers held crosswise
burn them a little on the neck, the forehead, and the temples, so that
the hair is singed away somewhat. At church the wax tapers are of
importance: if they burn brightly and clearly, the young couple will
have a happy, merry married life; if feeble, their life will be a quiet
one; if they flicker, there will be strife and quarrels between them
(392 (1891). 161).

Writing of Manabozho, or Michabo, the great divinity of the Algonkian
tribes of the Great Lakes, Dr. D. G. Brinton says: "Michabo, giver of
life and light, creator and preserver, is no apotheosis of a prudent
chieftain, still less the fabrication of an idle fancy, or a designing
priestcraft, but, in origin, deeds, and name, the not unworthy
personification of the purest conceptions they possessed concerning the
Father of All" (409. 469).

To Agni, fire, light, "in whom are all the gods," the ancient Hindu
prayed: "Be unto us easy of access, as a father to his son" (388. 210),
and later generations of men have seen in light the embodiment of God.
As Max Müller says, "We ourselves also, though we may no longer use the
name of Morning-Light for the Infinite, the Beyond, the Divine, still
find no better expression than _Light_ when we speak of the
manifestations of God, whether in nature or in our mind" (510. 434).

In the Christian churches of to-day hymns of praise are sung to God as
"Father of Light and Life," and their neophytes are bidden, as of old,
to "walk as Children of Light."


At the naming of the new-born infant in ancient Mexico, the mother thus
addressed the Sun and the Earth: "Thou Sun, Father of all that live, and
thou Earth, our Mother, take ye this child, and guard it as your son." A
common affirmation with them was: "By the life of the Sun, and of our
Lady, the Earth" (529. 97).

Many primitive tribes have the custom of holding the newborn child up to
the sun.

Not a few races and peoples have called themselves "children of the
sun." The first of the Incas of Peru--a male and a female--were children
of the Sun "our Father," who, "seeing the pitiable condition of mankind,
was moved to compassion, and sent to them, from Heaven, two of his
children, a son and a daughter, to teach them how to do him honour, and
pay him divine worship "; they were also instructed by the sun in all
the needful arts of life, which they taught to men (529. 102). When the
"children of the Sun" died, they were said to be "called to the home of
the Sun, their Father" (100. 479).

The Comanche Indians, who worship the sun with dances and other rites,
call him _taab-apa_, "Father Sun," and the Sarcees speak of the sun
as "Our Father," and of the earth as "Our Mother" (412. 122, 72).

With the Piute Indians "the sun is the father and ruler of the heavens.
He is the big chief. The moon is his wife, and the stars are their
children. The sun eats his children whenever he can catch them. They
fall before him, and are all the time afraid when he is passing through
the heavens. When he (their father) appears in the morning, you see all
the stars, his children, fly out of sight,--go away back into the blue
of the above,--and they do not wake to be seen again until he, their
father, is about going to his bed" (485. I. 130).

Dr. Eastman says of the Sioux Indians: "The sun was regarded as the
father, and the earth as the mother, of all things that live and grow;
but, as they had been married a long time and had become the parents of
many generations, they were called the great-grandparents" (518 (1894).

Widespread over the earth has been, and still is, the worship of the
sun; some mythologists, indeed, would go too far and explain almost
every feature of savage and barbarous religion as a sun-myth or as
smacking of heliolatry.

Imagery and figurative language borrowed from the consideration of the
aspect and functions of the great orb of day have found their way into
and beautified the religious thought of every modern Christian
community. The words of the poet Thomson:

 "Prime cheerer light!
  Of all material beings first and best!
  Efflux divine! Nature's resplendent robe!
  Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt
  In unessential gloom; and thou, O Sun!
  Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen
  Shines out thy Maker!"

find briefer expression in the simple speech of the dying Turner: "The
sun is God."


Though, in nearly every portion of the globe the apotheosis of earth is
as a woman, we find in America some evidences of a cult of the
terrestrial Father-God. Concerning the cave-worship of the Mexican
aborigines, Dr. Brinton says (413. 38, 50): "The intimate meaning of
this cave-cult was the worship of the Earth. The Cave-God, the Heart of
the Hills, really typified the Earth, the Soil, from whose dark recesses
flow the limpid streams and spring the tender shoots of the food-plants
as well as the great trees. To the native Mexican the Earth was the
provider of food and drink, the common Father of All; so that, to this
day, when he would take a solemn oath, he stoops to the earth, touches
it with his hand, and repeats the solemn formula: '_Cuix amo nechitla
in toteotzin?_ Does not our Great God see me?'"


Dr. Berendt, when travelling through the forests of Yucatan, heard his
Maya Indian guide exclaim in awe-struck tones, as the roar of a tornado
made itself heard in the distance: _He catal nohoch yikal nohoch
tat_, "Here comes the mighty wind of the Great Father." As Dr.
Brinton points out, this belief has analogues all over the world, in the
notion of the wind-bird, the master of breath, and the spirit, who is
father of all the race, for we learn also that "the whistling of the
wind is called, or attributed to, _tat acmo_, words which mean
'Father Strong-Bird'" (411. 175).

The cartography of the Middle Ages and the epochs of the great maritime
discoveries has made us familiar with the wind-children, offspring of
the wind-father, from whose mouths came the breezes and the storms, and
old Boreas, of whom the sailors sing, has traces of the fatherhood about
him. More than one people has believed that God, the Father, is Spirit,
breath, wind.

_Other Father-Gods_.

The ancient Romans applied the term _Pater_ to many of their gods
beside the great Jove. Vulcan was called _Lemnus Pater_, the
"Lemnian Father"; Bacchus, _Pater Lenæus_; Janus, the "early god of
business," is termed by Horace, _Matutinus Pater,_ "Early-morning
Father"; Mars is _Mars Pater,_ etc. The Guarayo Indians, of South
America, prayed for rain and bountiful harvests to "Tamoï, the
grandfather, the old god in heaven, who was their first ancestor and had
taught them agriculture" (100. 288).

The Abipones, of Paraguay, called the Pleiades their "Grandfather" and
"Creator." When the constellation was invisible, they said: "Our
Grandfather, Keebet, is ill" (509. 274, 284).

In his account of the folk-lore of Yucatan, Dr. Brinton tells us that
the giant-beings known as _Hbalamob,_ or _balams,_ are
sometimes "affectionately referred to as _yum balam,_ or 'Father
Balam.'" The term _yum_ is practically the equivalent of the Latin
_pater,_ and of the _"father,"_ employed by many primitive
peoples in addressing, or speaking of, their great male divinities (411.

In his acute exposition of the philosophy of the Zuñi Indians, Mr.
Gushing tells us (424. 11) that "all beings, whether deistic and
supernatural, or animistic and mortal, are regarded as belonging to one
system; and that they are likewise believed to be related by blood seems
to be indicated by the fact that human beings are spoken of as the
'children of men,' while _all_ other beings are referred to as 'the
Fathers,' the 'All-Fathers (Á-tä-tchu),' and 'Our Fathers.'" The
"Priest'of the Bow," when travelling alone through a dangerous country,
offers up a prayer, which begins: "Si! This day, My Fathers, ye Animal
Beings, although this country be filled with enemies, render me
precious" (424. 41). The hunter, in the ceremonial of the "Deer
Medicine," prays: "Si! This day, My Father, thou Game Animal, even
though thy trail one day and one night hast (been made) round about;
however, grant unto me one step of my earth-mother. Wanting thy
life-blood, wanting that flesh, hence I address to thee good fortune,
address to thee treasure," etc. When he has stricken down the animal,
"before the 'breath of life' has left the fallen deer (if it be such),
he places its fore feet back of its horns, and, grasping its mouth,
holds it firmly, closely, while he applies his lips to its nostrils and
breathes as much wind into them as possible, again inhaling from the
lungs of the dying animal into his own. Then, letting go, he exclaims:
'Ah! Thanks, my father, my child. Grant unto me the seeds of earth
('daily bread') and the gift of water. Grant unto me the light of thy
favour, do" (424. 36).

Something of a like nature, perhaps, attaches to the bear-ceremonials
among the Ainu and other primitive peoples of northeastern Asia, with
whom that animal is held in great respect and reverence, approaching to

Of Pó-shai-an-k'ia, "the God (Father) of the Medicine Societies, or
sacred esoteric orders of the Zuñis," Mr. Gushing tells us: "He is
supposed to have appeared in human form, poorly clad, and therefore
reviled by men; to have taught the ancestors of the Zuñi, Taos, Oraibi,
and Coçonino Indians their agricultural and other arts; their systems of
worship by means of plumed and painted prayer-sticks; to have organized
their medicine societies, and then to have disappeared toward his home
in Shi-pä-pu-li-ma (from _shi-pa-a_ = mist, vapour; _u-lin_,
surrounding; and _i-mo-na_ = sitting-place of; 'The mist-enveloped
city'), and to have vanished beneath the world, whence he is said to
have departed for the home of the Sun. He is still the conscious auditor
of the prayers of his children, the invisible ruler of the spiritual
Shi-pä-pu-li-ma, and of the lesser gods of the medicine orders, the
principal 'Finisher of the Paths of our Lives.' He is, so far as any
identity can be established, the 'Montezuma' of popular and usually
erroneous Mexican tradition" (424. 16). Both on the lowest steps of
civilization and on the highest, we meet with this passing over of the
Father into the Son, this participation of God in the affairs and
struggles of men.



  Liebe Kinder haben viele Namen
  [Dear children have many names].--_German Proverb_.

  Child or boy, my darling, which you will.--_Swinburne_.

  Men ever had, and ever will have, leave
  To coin new words well-suited to the age.
  Words are like leaves, some wither every year,
  And every year a younger race succeeds.--_Roscommon_.

_Child and its Synonyms_.

Our word _child_--the good old English term; for both _babe_
and _infant_ are borrowed--simply means the "product of the womb"
(compare Gothic _kilthei_, "womb"). The Lowland-Scotch dialect
still preserves an old word for "child" in _bairn_, cognate with
Anglo-Saxon _bearn_, Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, and Gothic
_barn_ (the Gothic had a diminutive _barnilo_, "baby"),
Sanskrit _bharna_, which signifies "the borne one," "that which is
born," from the primitive Indo-European root _bhr_, "to bear, to
carry in the womb," whence our "to _bear_" and the German
"ge-_bären_." _Son_, which finds its cognates in all the
principal Aryan dialects, except Latin, and perhaps Celtic,--the Greek
[Greek: yios] is for [Greek: syios], and is the same word,--a widespread
term for "male child, or descendant," originally meant, as the Old Irish
_suth_, "birth, fruit," and the Sanskrit _sû_, "to bear, to
give birth to," indicate, "the fruit of the womb, the begotten"--an
expression which meets us time and again in the pages of the Hebrew
Bible. The words _offspring_, _issue_, _seed_, used in
higher diction, explain themselves and find analogues all over the
world. To a like category belong Sanskrit _gárbha_, "brood of
birds, child, shoot"; Pali _gabbha_, "womb, embryo, child"; Old
High German _chilburra_, "female lamb"; Gothic _kalbô_,
"female lamb one year old"; German _Kalb_; English _calf_;
Greek [Greek: _delphus_], "womb"; whence [Greek: _adelphus_],
"brother," literally "born of the same womb." Here we see, in the words
for their young, the idea of the kinship of men and animals in which the
primitive races believed. The "brought forth" or "born" is also the
signification of the Niskwalli Indian _ba'-ba-ad_, "infant";
_de-bád-da_, "infant, son"; Maya _al_, "son or daughter of a
woman"; Cakchiquel 4_ahol_, "son," and like terms in many other
tongues. Both the words in our language employed to denote the child
before birth are borrowed. _Embryo_, with its cognates in the
modern tongues of Europe, comes from the Greek [Greek: _embruon_],
"the fruit of the womb before delivery; birth; the embryo, foetus; a
lamb newly born, a kid." The word is derived from _eu_, "within";
and _bruo_, "I am full of anything, I swell or teem with"; in a
transitive sense, "I break forth." The radical idea is clearly
"swelling," and cognates are found in Greek [Greek: _bruon_],
"moss"; and German _Kraut_, "plant, vegetable." _Foetus_ comes
to us from Latin, where it meant "a bearing, offspring, fruit; bearing,
dropping, hatching,--of animals, plants, etc.; fruit, produce,
offspring, progeny, brood." The immediate derivation of the word is
_feto_, "I breed," whence also _effetus_, "having brought
forth young, worn out by bearing, effete." _Feto_ itself is from an
old verb _feuere_, "to generate, to produce," possibly related to
_fui_ and our _be_. The radical signification of _foetus_
then is "that which is bred, or brought to be"; and from the same root
_fe_ are derived _feles_, "cat" (the fruitful animal);
_fe-num_, "hay"; _fe-cundus_, "fertile"; _fe-lix,_
"happy" (fruitful). The corresponding verb in Greek is [Greek:
_phuein_], "to grow, to spring forth, to come into being," whence
the following: [Greek: _phusis_], "a creature, birth,
nature,"--nature is "all that has had birth"; [Greek: _phuton_]
"something grown, plant, tree, creature, child"; [Greek: _phulae,
philon_] "race, clan, tribe,"--the "aggregate of those born in a
certain way or place"; [Greek: _phus_], "son"; [Greek:
_phusas_], "father," etc.

In English, we formerly had the phrase "to look _babies_ in the
eyes," and we still speak of the _pupil_ of the eye, the old
folk-belief having been able to assert itself in the every-day speech of
the race,--the thought that the soul looked out of the windows of the
eyes. In Latin, _pupilla pupila,_ "girl, pupil of the eye," is a
diminutive of _pupa_ (_puppa_), "girl, damsel, doll, puppet";
other related words are _pupulus_, "little boy"; _pupillus_,
"orphan, ward," our _pupil_; _pupulus_, "little child, boy";
_pupus_, "child, boy." The radical of all these is _pu_, "to
beget"; whence are derived also the following: _puer_, "child,
boy"; _puella_ (for _puerula_), a diminutive of _puer_,
"girl"; _pusus_, "boy"; _pusio_, "little boy,"
_pusillus_; "a very little boy"; _putus_, "boy";
_putillus_, "little boy"; _putilla_, "little girl,"--here
belongs also _pusillanimus_, "small-minded, boy-minded";
_pubis_, "ripe, adult"; _pubertas_, "puberty, maturity";
_pullus_, "a young animal, a fowl," whence our _pullet_. In
Greek we find the cognate words [Greek: polos] "a young animal," related
to our _foal, filly_; [Greek: polion], "pony," and, as some,
perhaps too venturesome, have suggested, [Greek: pais], "child," with
its numerous derivatives in the scientifical nomenclature and
phraseology of to-day. In Sanskrit we have _putra_, "son," a word
familiar as a suffix in river-names,--_Brahmaputra_, "son of
Brahma,"--_pota_, "the young of an animal," etc. Skeat thinks that
our word _boy_, borrowed from Low German and probably related to
the Modern High German _Bube_, whence the familiar "bub" of
American colloquial speech, is cognate with Latin _pupus_.

To this stock of words our _babe_, with its diminutive _baby_,
seems not akin. Skeat, rejecting the theory that it is a reduplicative
child-word, like _papa_, sees in it merely a modification
(infantine, perhaps) of the Celtic _maban_, diminutive of
_mab_, "son," and hence related to _maid_, the particular
etymology of which is discussed elsewhere.

_Infant_, also, is a loan-word in English. In Latin, _infans_
was the coinage of some primitive student of children, of some
prehistoric anthropologist, who had a clear conception of "infancy" as
"the period of inability to speak,"--for _infans_ signifies neither
more nor less than "not speaking, unable to speak." The word, like our
"childish," assumed also the meanings "child, young, fresh, new, silly,"
with a diminutive _infantulus_. The Latin word _infans_ has
its representatives in French and other Romance languages, and has given
rise to _enfanter_, "to give birth to a child," _enfantement_,
"labour," two of the few words relating to child-birth in which the
child is directly remembered. The history of the words _infantry_,
"foot-soldiers," and _Infanta_, "a princess of the blood royal" in
Spain (even though she be married), illustrates a curious development of

Our word _daughter_, which finds cognates in Teutonic, Slavonic,
Armenian, Zend, Sanskrit, and Greek, Skeat would derive from the root
_dugh_, "to milk," the "daughter" being primitively the "milker,"
--the "milkmaid,"--which would remove the term from the list of names
for "child" in the proper sense of the word. Kluge, however, with
justice perhaps, considers this etymology improbable.

A familiar phrase in English is "babes and sucklings," the last term of
which, cognate with German _Säugling_, meets with analogues far and
wide among the peoples of the earth. The Latin words for children in
relation to their parents are _filius_ (diminutive _filiolus_),
"son," and _filia_ (diminutive _filiola_), "daughter,"
which have a long list of descendants in the modern Neo-Latin or Romance
languages,--French _fils, fille, filleul_, etc.; Italian _figlio,
figlia_, etc. According to Skeat, _filius_ signified originally
"infant," perhaps "suckling," from _felare_, "to suck," the radical
of which, _fe_ (Indo-European _dhe_), appears also in
_femina_, "woman," and _femella_, "female," the "sucklers"
_par excellence_. In Greek the cognate words are [Greek:
_titthae_], "nurse," _thaelus_, "female," _thaelae_,
"teat," etc.; in Lithuanian, _dels_, "son." With _nonagan_,
"teat, breast," are cognate in the Delaware Indian language
_nonoshellaan_, "to suckle," _nonetschik_, "suckling," and
other primitive tongues have similar series.

The Modern High German word for child is _Kind_, which, as a
substantive, finds representatives neither in Gothic nor in early
English, but has cognates in the Old Norse _kunde_, "son," Gothic
_-kunds_, Anglo-Saxon _-kund_, a suffix signifying "coming
from, originating from." The ultimate radical of the word is the
Indo-European root _gen_ (Teutonic _ken_), "to bear, to
produce," whence have proceeded also _kin_, Gothic _kuni_;
_queen_, Gothic _qvêns_, "woman"; _king_, Modern High
German _König_, originally signifying perhaps "one of high origin";
Greek _genos_ and its derivatives; Latin _genus, gens, gigno_;
Lithuanian _gentis_, "relative"; Sanskrit _janas_, "kin,
stock," _janús_, "creature, kin, birth," _jantú_, "child,
being, stock," _jâtá_, "son." _Kind_, therefore, while not the
same word as our _child_, has the same primitive meaning, "the
produced one," and finds further cognates in _kid_ and _colt_,
names applied to the young of certain animals, and the first of which,
in the slang of to-day, is applied to children also. In some parts of
Germany and Switzerland _Kind_ has the sense of _boy_; in
Thuringia, for example, people speak of _zwei Kinder und ein
Mädchen,_ "two boys and a girl." From the same radical sprang the
Modern High German _Knabe_, Old High German _chnabo_, "boy,
youth, young fellow, servant," and its cognates, including our English
_knave_, with its changed meaning, and possibly also German
_Knecht_ and English _knight_, of somewhat similar import

To the same original source we trace back Greek [Greek:
_genetaer_], Latin _genitor_, "parent," and their cognates, in
all of which the idea of _genesis_ is prominent. Here belong, in
Greek: [Greek: _genesis_], "origin, birth, beginning"; [Greek:
_gynae_], "woman"; [Greek: _genea_], "family, race"; [Greek:
_geinomai_], "I beget, produce, bring forth, am born"; [Greek:
_gignomai_], "I come into a new state of being, become, am born."
In Latin: _gigno_, "I beget, bring forth"; _gens_, "clan,
race, nation,"--those born in a certain way; _ingens_, "vast, huge,
great,"--"not _gens_," _i.e._ "born beyond or out of its
kind"; _gentilis_, "belonging to the same clan, race, tribe,
nation," then, with various turns of meaning, "national, foreign,"
whence our _gentile, genteel, gentle, gentry,_ etc.; _genus_,
"birth, race, sort, kind"; _ingenium_, "innate quality, natural
disposition"; _ingeniosus_, "of good natural abilities, born
well-endowed," hence _ingenious; ingenuus_, "native, free-born,
worthy of a free man," hence "frank, _ingenuous_";
_progenies_, "descent, descendants, offspring, progeny";
_gener_, "son-in-law"; _genius_, "innate superior nature,
tutelary deity, the god born to a place," hence the _genius_, who
is "born," not "made"; _genuinus_, "innate, born-in,
_genuine_"; _indigena_, "native, born-there, indigenous";
_generosus_, "of high, noble birth," hence "noble-minded,
_generous_"; _genero_, "I beget, produce, engender, create,
procreate," and its derivatives _degenero, regenero_, etc., with
the many words springing from them. From the same radical _gen_
comes the Latin _(g)nascor_, "I am born," whose stem _(g)na_
is seen also in _natio_, "the collection of those born," or "the
birth," and _natura_, "the world of birth,"--like Greek [Greek:
_phnsis_],--for "nations" and "nature" have both "sprung into
being." The Latin _germen_ (our _germ_), which signified
"sprig, offshoot, young bud, sprout, fruit, embryo," probably meant
originally simply "growth," from the root _ker_, "to make to grow."
From the same Indo-European radical have come the Latin _creare_,
"to create, make, produce," with its derivatives _procreare_ and
_creator_, which we now apply to the Supreme Being, as the "maker"
or "producer" of all things. Akin are also _crescere_, "to come
forth, to arise, to appear, to increase, to grow, to spring, to be
born," and _Ceres_, the name of the goddess of agriculture (growth
and creation), whence our word _cereal_; and in Greek [Greek:
Kronos], the son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gæa (Earth), [Greek: kratos],
"strength," and its derivatives ("democracy," etc.).

Another interesting Latin word is _pario_, "I bring forth,
produce," whence _parens_, "producer, parent," _partus_,
"birth, bearing, bringing forth; young, offspring, foetus, embryo of any
creature," _parturio, parturitio_, etc. _Pario_ is used alike
of human beings, animals, birds, fish, while _parturio_ is applied
to women and animals, and, by Virgil, even to trees,--_parturit
arbos_, "the tree is budding forth,"--and by other writers to objects
even less animate.

In the Latin _enitor_, "I bring forth or bear children or
young,"--properly, "I struggle, strive, make efforts,"--we meet with the
idea of "labour," now so commonly associated with child-bearing, and
deriving from the old comparison of the tillage of the soil and the
bearing of the young. This association existed in Hebrew also, and Cain,
the first-born of Adam, was the first agriculturist. We still say the
tree _bears_ fruit, the land _bears_ crops, is _fertile_,
and the most characteristic word in English belonging to the category in
question is "to _bear_" children, cognate with Modern High German
_ge-bären_, Gothic _gabairan_, Latin _ferre_ (whence
_fertilis_), Greek _[Greek: ferein]_, Sanskrit _bhri_,
etc., all from the Indo-European root _bher_, "to carry"--compare
the use of _tragen_ in Modern High German: _sie trägt ein Kind
unter dem Herzen_. The passive verb is "to be _born_" literally,
"to be borne, to be carried, produced," and the noun corresponding,
_birth_, cognate with German _Geburt_, and Old Norse
_burthr_, which meant "embryo" as well. Related ideas are seen in
_burden_, and in the Latin, _fors, fortuna_, for "fortune" is
but that which is "borne" or "produced, brought forth," just as the
Modern High German _Heil_, "fortune, luck," is probably connected
with the Indo-European radical _gen_, "to produce."

Corresponding to the Latin _parentes_, in meaning, we have the
Gothic _berusjos_, "the bearers," or "parents"; we still use in
English, "forbears," in the sense of ancestors. The good old English
phrase "with child," which finds its analogues in many other languages,
has, through false modesty, been almost driven out of literature, as it
has been out of conversational language, by _pregnant_, which comes
to us from the Latins, who also used _gravidus_,--a word we now
apply only to animals, especially dogs and ants,--and _enceinte_,
borrowed from French, and referring to the ancient custom of girding a
woman who was with child. Similarly barren of direct reference to the
child are _accouchement_, which we have borrowed from French, and
the German _Entbindung_.

In German, Grimm enumerates, among other phrases relating to
child-birth, the following, the particular meanings and uses of which
are explained in his great dictionary: _Schwanger, gross zum Kinde,
zum Kinde gehen, zum Kinde arbeiten, um's Kind kommen, mit Kinde, ein
Kind tragen, Kindesgrosz, Kindes schwer, Kinder haben, Kinder bekommen,
Kinder kriegen, niederkommen, entbinden,_ and the quaint and
beautiful _eines Kindes genesen_,--all used of the mother. Applied
to both parents we find _Kinder machen_, _Kinder bekommen_
(now used more of the mother), _Kinder erzeugen_ (more recently, of
the father only), _Kinder erzielen_.

Our English word _girl_ is really a diminutive (from a stem
_gir_, seen in Old Low German _gör_, "a child") from some Low
German dialect, and, though it now signifies only "a female child, a
young woman," in Middle English _gerl_ (_girl, gurl_) was
applied to a young person of either sex. In the Swiss dialects to-day
_gurre_, or _gurrli_, is a name given to a "girl" in a
depreciatory sense, like our own "girl-boy." In many primitive tongues
there do not appear to be special words for "son" and "daughter," or for
"boy" and "girl," as distinguished from each other, these terms being
rendered "male-child (man-child)," and "female-child (woman-child)"
respectively. The "man-child" of the King James' version of the
Scriptures belongs in this category. In not a few languages, the words
for "son" and "daughter" and for "boy" and "girl" mean really "little
man," and "little woman"--a survival of which thought meets us in the
"little man" with which his elders are even now wont to denominate "the
small boy." In the Nahuatl language of Mexico, "woman" is _ciuatl_,
"girl" _ciuatontli_; in the Niskwalli, of the State of Washington,
"man" is _stobsh_, "boy" _stótomish_, "woman" _sláne_,
"girl" _cháchas_ (_i.e._ "small") _sláne_; in the Tacana,
of South. America, "man" is _dreja_, "boy" _drejave_, "woman"
_epuna_, "girl" _epunave_. And but too often the "boys" and
"girls" even as mere children are "little men and women" in more
respects than that of name.

In some languages the words for "son," "boy," "girl" are from the same
root. Thus, in the Mazatec language, of Mexico, we find _indidi_
"boy," _tzadi_ "girl," _indi_ "son," and in the Cholona, of
Peru, _nun-pullup_ "boy," _ila-pullup_ "girl," _pul_
"son,"--where _ila_ means "female," and _nun_ "male."

In some others, as was the case with the Latin _puella_, from
_puer_, the word for "girl" seems derived from that for "boy."
Thus, we have in Maya, _mehen_ "son," _ix-mehen_ "daughter,"--
_-ix_ is a feminine prefix; and in the Jívaro, of Ecuador,
_vila_ "son," _vilalu_, "daughter."

Among very many primitive peoples, the words for "babe, infant, child,"
signify really "small," "little one," like the Latin _parvus_, the
Scotch _wean_ (for _wee ane_, "wee one"), etc. In Hawaiian,
for example, the "child" is called _keiki_, "the little one," and
in certain Indian languages of the Western Pacific slope, the Wiyot
_kusha'ma_ "child," Yuke _únsil_ "infant," Wintun
_cru-tut_ "infant," Niskwalli _chá chesh_ "child (boy)," all
signify literally "small," "little one."

Some languages, again, have diminutives of the word for "child," often
formed by reduplication, like the _wee wean_ of Lowland Scotch, and
the _pilpil_, "infant" of the Nahuatl of Mexico.

In the Snanaimuq language, of Vancouver Island, the words
_k·ä'ela_, "male infant," and _k·ä'k·ela_, "female infant,"
mean simply "the weak one." In the Modoc, of Oregon, a "baby" is
literally, "what is carried on one's self." In the Tsimshian, of British
Columbia, the word _wok·â'ûts_, "female infant," signifies really
"without labrets," indicating that the creature is yet too young for the
lip ornaments. In Latin, _liberi_, one of the words for "children,"
shows on its face that it meant only "children, as opposed to the slaves
of the house, _servi_"; for _liberi_ really denotes "the free
ones." In "the Galibi language of Brazil, _tigami_ signifies 'young
brother, son, and little child,' indiscriminately." The following
passage from Westermarck recalls the "my son," etc., of our higher
conversational or even officious style (166.93):--

"Mr. George Bridgman states that, among the Mackay blacks of Queensland,
the word for 'daughter' is used by a man for any young woman belonging
to the class to which his daughter would belong if he had one. And,
speaking of the Australians, Eyre says, 'In their intercourse with each
other, natives of different tribes are exceedingly punctilious and
polite; ... almost everything that is said is prefaced by the
appellation of father, son, brother, mother, sister, or some other
similar term, corresponding to that degree of relationship which would
have been most in accordance with their relative ages and

Similar phenomena meet us in the language of the criminal classes, and
the slang of the wilder youth of the country.

Among the Andaman Islanders: "Parents, when addressing or referring to
their children, and not using names, employ distinct terms, the father
calling his son _dar ô-dire,_ i.e. 'he that has been begotten by
me,' and his daughter, _dar ô-dire-pail-;_ while the mother makes
use of the word _dab ê-tire,_ i.e. 'he whom I have borne,' for the
former, and _dab ê-tire pail-_ for the latter; similarly, friends,
in speaking of children to their parents, say respectively, _ngar
ô-dire,_ or _ngab ê-tire_ (your son), _ngar ô-dire-pail-,_
or _ngab ê-tire-pail-_ (your daughter)" (498. 59).

In the Tonkawé Indian language of Texas, "to be born" is _nikaman
yekéwa,_ literally, "to become bones," and in the Klamath, of Oregon,
"to give birth," is _nkâcgî,_ from _nkák,_ "the top of the
head," and _gî,_ "to make," or perhaps from _kák'gî,_ "to
produce bones," from the idea that the seat of life is in the bones. In
the Nipissing dialect of the Algonkian tongue, _ni kanis,_ "my
brother," signifies literally, "my little bone," an etymology which, in
the light of the expressions cited above, reminds one of the Greek
[Greek: adelphos], and the familiar "bone of my bone," etc. A very
interesting word for "child" is Sanskrit _toka,_ Greek [Greek:
teknon], from the Indo-European radical _tek,_ "to prepare, make,
produce, generate." To the same root belong Latin _texere,_ "to
weave," Greek [Greek: technae] "art"; so that the child and art have
their names from the same primitive source--the mother was the former of
the child as she was of the chief arts of life.


The people who seem to have gone farthest in the way of words for
"child" are the Andaman Islanders, who have an elaborate system of
nomenclature from the first year to the twelfth or fifteenth, when
childhood may be said to end. There are also in use a profusion of
"flower-names" and complimentary terms. The "flower-names" are confined
to girls and young women who are not mothers. The following list shows
the peculiarity of the name-giving:--

1. Proper name chosen before birth of child: ._dô'ra_.

2. If child turns out to be a boy, he is called: ._dô'ra-ô'ta_; if
a girl, ._dô'ra-kâ'ta_; these names (_ô'ta_ and _kâ'ta_
refer to the genital organs of the two sexes) are used during the first
two or three years only.

3. Until he reaches puberty, the boy is called: ._dô'ra dâ'la_, and
the girl, _.dô'ra-po'il'ola_.

4. When she reaches maturity, the girl is said to be _ún-lâ-wi_, or
_â'kà-lá-wi_, and receives a "flower-name" chosen from the one of
"the eighteen prescribed trees which blossom in succession" happening to
be in season when she attains womanhood.

5. If this should occur in the middle of August, when the _Pterocarpus
dalbergoides_, called _châ'langa_, is in flower,
"._dô'ra-po-ilola_ would become ._chà'garu dô'ra_, and this
double name would cling to the girl until she married and was a mother,
then the 'flower' name would give way to the more dignified term
_chän'a_ (madam or mother)._dô'ra_; if childless, a woman has
to pass a few years of married life before she is called _chän'a_,
after which no further change is made in her name."

Much other interesting information about name-giving may be found in the
pages of Mr. Man's excellent treatise on this primitive people (498.
59-61; 201-208).

_Sign Language._

Interesting details about signs and symbols for "child" may be found in
the elaborate article of Colonel Mallery on "Sign Language among North
American Indians" (497a), and the book of Mr. W. P. Clark on _Indian
Sign Language_ (420).

Colonel Mallery tells us that "the Egyptian hieroglyphists, notably in
the designation of Horus, their dawn-god, used the finger in or on the
lips for 'child.' It has been conjectured in the last instance that the
gesture implied, not the mode of taking nourishment, but inability to
speak, _in-fans_." This conjecture, however, the author rejects
(497a. 304). Among the Arapaho Indians "the sign for _child, baby_,
is the forefinger in the mouth, _i.e._ a nursing child, and a
natural sign of a deaf-mute is the same;" related seem also the ancient
Chinese forms for "son" and "birth," as well as the symbol for the
latter among the Dakota Indians (494 a. 356). Clark describes the symbol
for "child," which is based upon those for "parturition" and "height,"
thus: "Bring the right hand, back outwards, in front of centre of body,
and close to it, fingers extended, touching, pointing outwards and
downwards; move the hands on a curve downwards and outwards; then carry
the right hand, back outwards, well out to front and right of body,
fingers extended and pointing upwards, hand resting at supposed height
of child; the hand is swept into last position at the completion of
first gesture. In speaking of children generally, and, in fact, unless
it is desired to indicate height or age of the child, the first sign is
all that is used or is necessary. This sign also means the young of any
animal. In speaking of children generally, sometimes the signs for
different heights are only made. Deaf-mutes make the combined sign for
male and female, and then denote the height with right hand held
horizontally" (420. 109).

For "baby," deaf-mutes "hold extended left hand back down, in front of
body, forearm about horizontal and pointing to right and front; then lay
the back of partially compressed right hand on left forearm near wrist"
(420. 57).


The interesting and extensive field of personal onomatology--the study
of personal names--cannot be entered upon exhaustively here. Shakespeare
has said:--

  "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
  By any other name would smell as sweet,"--

and the same remark might be made of the children of some primitive
peoples. Not infrequently the child is named before it is born. Of the
Central Eskimo we read that often before the birth of the child, "some
relative or friend lays his hand upon the mother's stomach, and decides
what the infant is to be called; and, as the name serves for either sex,
it is of no consequence whether it be a girl or a boy" (402. 612, 590).
Polle has a good deal to say of the deep significance of the name with
certain peoples--"to be" and "to be named" appearing sometimes as
synonymous (517. 99). "Hallowed be Thy name" expresses the ideas of many
generations of men. With the giving of a name the soul and being of a
former bearer of it were supposed to enter into and possess the child or
youth upon whom it was conferred. Kink says of the Eskimo of East
Greenland, that "they seemed to consider man as consisting of three
independent parts,--soul, body, name" (517. 122). One can easily
understand the mysterious associations of the name, the taboos of its
utterance or pronunciation so common among primitive peoples--the
reluctance to speak the name of a dead person, as well as the desire to
confer the name of such a one upon a new-born child, spring both from
the same source.

The folk-lore and ceremonial of name-giving are discussed at length in
Ploss, and the special treatises on popular customs. In several parts of
Germany, it is held to be ominous for misfortune or harm to the child,
if the name chosen for it should be made known before baptism.
Sometimes, the child is hardly recognized as existing until he has been
given a name. In Gerbstadt in Mansfeld, Germany, the child before it
receives its name is known as "dovedung," and, curiously enough, in
far-off Samoa, the corresponding appellation is "excrement of the
family-god" (517.103).

The following statement, regarding one of the American Indian tribes,
will stand for many other primitive peoples: "The proper names of the
Dakotas are words, simple and compounded, which are in common use in the
language. They are usually given to children by the father, grandfather,
or some other influential relative. When young men have distinguished
themselves in battle, they frequently take to themselves new names, as
the names of distinguished ancestors of warriors now dead. The son of a
chief when he comes to the chieftainship, generally takes the name of
his father or grandfather, so that the same names, as in other more
powerful dynasties, are handed down along the royal lines" (524. 44-45).

Of the same people we are also told: "The Dakotas have no family or
surnames. But the children of a family have particular names which
belong to them, in the order of their birth up to the fifth child. These
names are for boys, Caske, Hepan, Hepi, Catan, and Hake. For girls they
are, Windna, Hapan, Hapistinna, Wanske, and Wihake."

_Terms applied to Children._

An interesting study might be made of the words we apply to children in
respect of size, _little, small, wee, tiny,_ etc., very many of
which, in their etymology, have no reference to childhood, or indeed to
smallness. The derivation of little is uncertain, but the word is
reasonably thought to have meant "little" in the sense of "deceitful,
mean," from the radical _lut_, "to stoop" (hence "to creep, to
sneak"). Curiously enough, the German _klein_ has lost its original
meaning,--partly seen in our clean,--"bright, clear." _Small_ also
belongs in the same category, as the German _schmal_, "narrow,
slim," indicates, though perhaps the original signification may have
been "small" as we now understand it; a cognate word is the Latin
_macer_, "thin, lean," which has lost an s at the beginning. Even
wee, as the phrase "a little wee bit" hints, is thought (by Skeat) to be
nothing more than a Scandinavian form of the same word which appears in
our English _way_. Skeat also tells us that "a little teeny boy,"
meant at first "a little fractious (peevish) boy," being derived from an
old word _teen_, "anger, peevishness." Analogous to _tiny_ is
_pettish_, which is derived from _pet_, "mama's pet," "a
spoiled child." Endless would the list of words of this class be, if we
had at our disposal the projected English dialect dictionary; many other
illustrations might be drawn from the numerous German dialect
dictionaries and the great Swiss lexicon of Tobler.

Still more interesting, perhaps, would be the discussion of the special
words used to denote the actions and movements of children of all ages,
and the names and appellatives of the child derived from considerations
of age, constitution, habits, actions, speech, etc., which are
especially numerous in Low German dialects and such forms of English
speech as the Lowland Scotch. Worthy of careful attention are the
synonyms of child, the comparisons in which the child figures in the
speech of civilized and uncivilized man; the slang terms also, which,
like the common expression of to-day, _kid_, often go back to a
very primitive state of mind, when "children" and "kids" were really
looked upon as being more akin than now. Beside the terms of contempt
and sarcasm,--_goose_, _loon_, _pig_, _calf_,
_donkey_, etc.,--those figures of speech which, the world over,
express the sentiment of the writer of the _Wisdom of Solomon_
regarding the foolishness of babes,--we, like the ancient Mexicans and
many another lower race, have terms of praise and endearment,--"a jewel
of a babe," and the like,--legions of caressives and diminutives in the
use of which some of the Low German dialects are more lavish even than
Lowland Scotch.

In Grimm's great _Deutsches Wörterbuch_, the synonymy of the word
_Kind_ and its semasiology are treated at great length, with a
multitude of examples and explanations, useful to students of English,
whose dictionaries lag behind in these respects. The child in language
is a fertile subject for the linguist and the psychologist, and the
field is as yet almost entirely unexplored.



As if no mother had made you look nice.--_Proverbial Saying of Songish

Spare the rod and spoil the child.--_Hebrew Proverb._

Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.--_Daniel_ v. 27.

He has lost his measure.--_German Saying._

_"Licking into Shape."_

Pope, in the _Dunciad_, has the well-known lines:--

  "So watchful Bruin forms, with plastic care,
   Each growing lump, and brings it to a bear,"

a conceit found in Burton, Montaigne, Byron, and other writers, and
based upon an old folk-belief that the cubs are born a formless lump
which the mother-bear has to "lick into shape." The same idea gave rise
to the "ours mal léché" of French, and our own colloquial expression "an
ill-licked cub." In an Alemanian lullaby sung while washing and combing
the child, occurs the following curious passage:--

  "I bin e chleine Pumpernickel,
   I bin e chleine Bär,
   Und wie mi Gott erschaffe hät,
   So wagglen ich derher,"
 ["I am a little Pumpernickel,
   I am a little bear,
   And just as God has fashioned me
   I wiggle about,"]

which, perhaps, contains the same thought. In a recent article,
Professor E. W. Fay offers an etymology of the word "livid" which
facilitates the passage from animal to man: "_Lividus_ meant
'licked.' The word derives from an animal's licking hurts and sores on
the young. A mother of the human species still kisses (licks) a child's
hurt to make it well" (_Mod. Lang. Notes_, IX. 263). Who has not
had his mother say: "Does it hurt? Come and let me kiss it, and make it

Moreover, Reclus tells us, "There are Esquimaux who go further in their
demonstrations of affection, and carrying their complaisance as far as
Mamma Puss and Mamma Bruin, lick their babies to clean them, lick them
well over from head to foot" (523. 38). Nor is it always the mother who
thus acts. Mantegazza observes: "I even know a very affectionate child,
who, without having learnt it from any one, licks the people to whom he
wishes to show friendship" (499. 144).


_Che nasce bella nasce maritata_,--"the girl born pretty is born
married,"--says the Italian proverb, and many devices there are among
primitive races to ensure the beauty which custom demands, but which
nature has failed to provide.

Among the Songish Indians of British Columbia, there is a saying: _Tôu
ô'wuna täns ksEtctcâ'ai_,--"as if no mother had made you look nice."
Doctor Boas describes the "making the child look nice" as follows (404.

"As soon as it is born, the mother rubs it from the mouth towards the
ears, so as to press the cheek-bones somewhat upward. The outer corners
of the eyes are pulled outward that they may not become round, which is
considered ill-looking. The calves of the legs are pressed backward and
upward, the knees are tied together to prevent the feet from turning
inward, the forehead is pressed down." Among the Nootka Indians,
according to the same authority: "Immediately after birth, the eyebrows
of the babe are pressed upward, its belly is pressed forward, and the
calves of the legs are squeezed from the ankles upward. All these
manipulations are believed to improve the appearance of the child. It is
believed that the pressing of the eyebrows will give them the peculiar
shape that may be noticed in all carvings of the Indians of the North
Pacific Coast. The squeezing of the legs is intended to produce slim
ankles" (404. 39).

The subject of the human physiognomy and physical characteristics in
folk-lore and folk-speech is a very entertaining one, and the practices
in vogue for beautifying these are legion and found all over the world


Some recollection of such procedure as that of the Songish Indians seems
to linger, perhaps, in the game, which Sicilian nurses play on the
baby's features. It consists in "lightly touching nose, mouth, eyes,
etc., giving a caress or slap to the chin," and repeating at the same
time the verses:--

  Vucca d'aneddu,
  Nasu affilatu,
  Ocehi di stiddi
  Frunti quatrata
  E te 'ccà 'na timpulata."

In French we have corresponding to this:--

  "Beau front
  Petits yeux,
  Nez can can,
  Bouche d'argent,
  Menton fleuri,

In Scotch:--

  "Chin cherry,
  Moo merry,
  Nose nappie,
  Ee winkie,
  Broo brinkie,
  Cock-up jinkie."

In English:--

  "Eye winker,
  Tom Tinker,
  Nose dropper,
  Mouth eater.
  Chin chopper."

And cognate practices exist all over the globe (204. 21).

_Primitive Weighing._

"Worth his weight in gold" is an expression which has behind it a long
history of folk-thought. Professor Gaidoz, in his essay on _Ransom by
Weight_ (236), and Haberlandt, in his paper on the _Tulâpurusha,
Man-Weighing_ (248) of India, have shown to what extent has prevailed
in Europe and Asia the giving of one's weight in gold or other precious
substances by prisoners to their captors, in order to secure their
liberty, by devotees to the church, or to some saint, as a cure for, or
a preventitive of disease, or as an act of charity or of gratitude for
favours received.

The expression used of Belshazzar in Daniel v. 27, "Thou art weighed in
the balance, and found wanting" (and the analogue in Job xxxi. 6), has
been taken quite literally, and in Brittany, according to the Abbot of
Soissons, there was a Chapel of the Balances, "in which persons who came
to be cured miraculously, were weighed, to ascertain whether their
weight diminished when prayer was made by the monks in their behalf."
Brewer informs us that "Rohese, the mother of Thomas Becket, used to
weigh her boy every year on his birthday, against the money, clothes,
and provisions which she gave to the poor" (191.41). From Gregory of
Tours we learn that Charicus, King of the Suevi, when his son was ill,
"hearing of the miraculous power of the bones of St. Martin, had his son
weighed against gold and silver, and sent the amount to his sepulchre
and sanctuary at Tours" (236. 60).

Weighing of infants is looked upon with favour in some portions of
western Europe, and to the same source we may ultimately trace the
modern baby's card with the weight of the newcomer properly inscribed
upon it,--a fashion which bids fair to be a valuable anthropometric
adjunct. "Hefting the baby" has now taken on a more scientific aspect
than it had of yore.

The following curious custom of the eastern Eskimo is perhaps to be
mentioned here, a practice connected with their treatment of the sick.
"A stone weighing three or four pounds, according to the gravity of the
sickness, is placed by a matron under the pillow. Every morning she
weighs it, pronouncing meanwhile words of mystery. Thus she informs
herself of the state of the patient and his chances of recovery. If the
stone grows constantly heavier, it is because the sick man cannot
escape, and his days are numbered" (523. 39).

It is a far cry from Greenland to England, but there are connecting
links in respect of folk-practice. Mr. Dyer informs us that in the
parish church of Wingrove, near Ailesbury, as late as 1759, a certain
Mrs. Hammokes was accused of witchcraft, and her husband demanded the
"trial by the church Bible." So "she was solemnly conducted to the
parish church, where she was stript of all her clothes to her shift, and
weighed against the great parish Bible in the presence of all her
neighbours. The result was that, to the no small mortification of her
accuser, she outweighed the Bible, and was triumphantly acquitted of the
charge" (436. 307, 308).

How often has not woman, looked upon in the light of a child, been
subjected to the same practices and ceremonies!

_Primitive Measurements._

The etymology and original significance of our common English words,
_span_, _hand_, _foot_, _cubit_, _fathom_, and
their cognates and equivalents in other languages, to say nothing of the
self-explanatory _finger's breadth_, _arm's length_,
_knee-high_, _ankle-deep_, etc., go back to the same rude
anthropometry of prehistoric and primitive times, from which the classic
peoples of antiquity obtained their canons of proportion and symmetry of
the human body and its members. Among not a few primitive races it is
the child rather than the man that is measured, and we there meet with a
rude sort of anthropometric laboratory. From Ploss, who devotes a single
paragraph to "Measurements of the Body," we learn that these crude
measurements are of great importance in folk-medicine:--

"In Bohemia, the new-born child is usually measured by an old woman, who
measures all the limbs with a ribbon, and compares them with one
another; the hand, _e.g._, must be as long as the face. If the
right relations do not subsist, prayers and various superstitious
practices are resorted to in order to prevent the devil from injuring
the child, and the evil spirits are driven out of the house by means of
fumigation. In the case of sick children in Bohemia the measuring is
resorted to as a sympathetic cure. In other parts of Germany, on the
other hand, in Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia, Oldenburg, it is thought
that measuring and weighing the new-born child may interfere with its
thriving and growth" (326. I. 302).

Sibree states that in Madagascar, at circumcision, the child is measured
and sprinkled with water (214. 6), and Ellis, in his history of that
island, gives the following details of the ceremony (_History of
Madagascar_, Vol. I. p. 182):--

"The children on whom the rite is to be performed are next led across
the blood of the animal just killed, to which some idea of sacredness is
attached. They are then placed on the west side of the house, and, as
they stand erect, a man holding a light cane in his hand, measures the
first child to the crown of the head, and at one stroke cuts off a piece
of the cane measured to that height, having first carefully dipped the
knife in the blood of the slaughtered sheep. The knife is again dipped
in the blood, and the child measured to the waist, when the cane is cut
to that height. He is afterwards measured to the knee with similar
results. The same ceremony is performed on all the children
successively. The meaning of this, if indeed any meaning can be attached
to it, seems to be the symbolical removal of all evils to which the
children might be exposed,--first from the head to the waist, then from
the waist to the knees, and finally, from the knees to the sole of the

The general question of the measurement of sick persons (not especially
children), and of the payment of an image or a rod of precious metal of
the height of a given person, or the height of his waist, shoulders,
knee, etc., of the person, in recompense for some insult or injury, has
been treated of by Grimm, Gaidoz, and Haberlandt. Gaidoz remarks (236.
74): "It is well known that in Catholic countries it is customary to
present the saints with votive offerings in wax, which are
representative of the sicknesses for which the saints are invoked; a wax
limb, or a wax eye, for instance, are representative of a sore limb or
of a sore eye, the cure of which is expected from the saint. Wax bodies
were offered in the same way, as we learn from a ludicrous story told by
Henri Estienne, a French writer of the sixteenth century. The story is
about a clever monk who made credulous parents believe he had saved
their child by his prayers, and he says to the father, 'Now your son is
safe, thanks to God; one hour ago I should not have thought you would
have kept him alive. But do you know what you are to do? You ought to
have a wax effigy of his own size made for the glory of God, and put it
before the image of the holy Ambrose, at whose intercession our Lord did
this favour to you.'" Even poorer people were in the habit of offering
wax candles of the height or of the weight of the sick person.

In 1888, M. Letourneau (299) called attention to the measurement of the
neck as a test of puberty, and even of the virginity of maidens. In
Brittany, "According to popular opinion, there is a close relation
between the volume of the neck and puberty, sometimes even the virginity
of girls. It is a common sight to see three young girls of uncertain age
measure in sport the circumference of the neck of one of them with a
thread. The two ends of this thread are placed between the teeth of the
subject, and the endeavour is made to make the loop of the thread pass
over the head. If the operation succeeds, the young girl is declared
'bonne à marier.'" MM. Hanoteau and Letourneau state that among the
Kabyles of Algeria a similar measurement is made of the male sex. In
Kabylia, where the attainment of the virile state brings on the
necessity of paying taxes and bearing arms, families not infrequently
endeavour to conceal the puberty of their young men. If such deceit is
suspected, recourse is had to the test of neck-measurement. Here again,
as in Brittany, if the loop formed by the thread whose two ends are held
in the teeth passes over the head, the young man is declared of age, and
enrolled among the citizens, whilst his family is punished by a fine. M.
Manouvrier also notes that the same test is also employed to discover
whether an adolescent is to be compelled to keep the fast of Rhamadan.

_Measurements of Limbs and Body._

M. Mahoudeau cites from Tillaux's _Anatomie topographique,_ and MM.
Perdrizet and Gaidoz in _Mélusine_ for 1893, quote from the
_Secrets merveilleux de la magie naturette et cabalistique du Petit
Albert_ (1743) extracts relating to this custom, which is also
referred to by the Roman writers C. Valerius, Catullus, Vossius, and
Scaliger. The subject is an interesting one, and merits further
investigation. Ellis (42. 233) has something to say on the matter from a
scientific point of view. Grimm has called attention to the very ancient
custom of measuring a patient, "partly by way of cure, partly to
ascertain if the malady were growing or abating." This practice is
frequently mentioned in the German poems and medical books of the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In one case a woman says of her
husband, "I measured him till he forgot everything," and another,
desirous of persuading hers that he was not of sound mind, took the
measure of his length and across his head. In a Zürich Ms. of 1393,
"measuring" is included among the unchristian and forbidden things of
sorcery. In the region about Treves, a malady known as night-grip
(_Nachtgriff_) is ascertained to be present by the following
procedure: "Draw the sick man's belt about his naked body lengthwise and
breadthwise, then take it off and hang it on a nail with the words 'O
God, I pray thee, by the three virgins, Margarita, Maria Magdalena, and
Ursula, be pleased to vouchsafe a sign upon the sick man, if he have the
nightgrip or no'; then measure again, and if the belt be shorter than
before, it is a sign of the said sickness." In the Liegnitz country, in
1798, we are told there was hardly a village without its _messerin_
(measuress), an old woman, whose _modus operandi_ was this: "When
she is asked to say whether a person is in danger from consumption, she
takes a thread and measures the patient, first from head to heel, then
from tip to tip of the outspread arms; if his length be less than his
breadth then he is consumptive; the less the thread will measure his
arms, the farther has the disease advanced; if it reaches only to the
elbow, there is no hope for him. The measuring is repeated from time to
time; if the thread stretches and reaches its due length again, the
danger is removed. The wise woman must never ask money for her trouble,
but take what is given." In another part of Germany, "a woman is stript
naked and measured with a piece of red yarn spun on a Sunday."
Sembrzycki tells us that in the Elbing district, and elsewhere in that
portion of Prussia, the country people are firmly possessed by the idea
that a decrease in the measure of the body is the source of all sorts of
maladies. With an increase of sickness the hands and feet are believed
to lose more and more their just proportional relations one with
another, and it is believed that one can determine how much measure is
yet to be lost, how long the patient has yet to live. This belief has
given rise to the proverbial phrase _das Maas verlieren_--"to lose
one's measure" (462. III. 1163-5).

Not upon adults alone, however, were these measurements carried out, but
upon infants, children, and youths as well. Even in the New World, among
the more conservative of the population of Aryan origin, these customs
still nourish, as we learn from comparatively recent descriptions of
trustworthy investigators. Professor J. Howard Gore, in the course of an
interesting article on "The Go-Backs," belief in which is current among
the dwellers in the mountain regions of the State of Virginia, tells us
that when some one has suggested that "the baby has the 'go-backs,'" the
following process is gone through: "The mother then must go alone with
the babe to some old lady duly instructed in the art or science of
curing this blighting disease. She, taking the infant, divests it of its
clothing and places it on its back. Then, with a yarn string, she
measures its length or height from the crown of the head to the sole of
the heel, cutting off a piece which exactly represents this length. This
she applies to the foot, measuring off length by length, to see if the
piece of yarn contains the length of the foot an exact number of times.
This operation is watched by the mother with the greatest anxiety, for
on this coincidence of measure depends the child's weal or woe. If the
length of the string is an exact multiple of the length of the foot,
nothing is wrong, but if there is a remainder, however small, the baby
has the go-backs, and the extent of the malady is proportional to this
remainder. Of course in this measuring, the elasticity of the yarn is
not regarded, nor repetitions tried as a test of accuracy" (244. 108).
Moreover, "the string with which the determination was made must be hung
on the hinge of a gate on the premises of the infant's parents, and as
the string by gradual decay passes away, so passes away the 'go-backs.'
But if the string should be lost, the ailment will linger until a new
test is made and the string once more hung out to decay. Sometimes the
cure is hastened by fixing the string so that wear will come upon it."

Professor Gore aptly refers to the Latin proverb _ex pede
Herculem_, which arose from the calculation of Pythagoras, who from
the _stadium_ of 6000 feet laid out by Hercules for the Olympian
games, by using his own foot as the unit, obtained the length of the
foot of the mighty hero, whence he also deduced his height. We are not
told, however, as the author remarks, whether or not Hercules had the

Among the white settlers of the Alleghanies between southwestern Georgia
and the Pennsylvania line, according to Mr. J. Hampden Porter, the
following custom is in vogue: "Measuring an infant, whose growth has
been arrested, with an elastic cord that requires to be stretched in
order to equal the child's length, will set it right again. If the spell
be a wasting one, take three strings of similar or unlike colours, tie
them to the front door or gate in such a manner that whenever either are
opened there is some wear and tear of the cords. As use begins to tell
upon them, vigour will recommence" (480. VII. 116). Similar practices
are reported from Central Europe by Sartori (392 (1895). 88), whose
article deals with the folk-lore of counting, weighing, and measuring.

_Tests of Physical Efficiency._

That certain rude tests of physical efficiency, bodily strength, and
power of endurance have been and are in use among primitive peoples,
especially at the birth of children, or soon after, or just before, at,
or after, puberty, is a well-known fact, further testified to by the
occurrence of these practices in folk-tales and fairy-stories. Lifting
stones, jumping over obstacles, throwing stones, spears, and the like,
crawling or creeping through holes in stones, rocks, or trees, have all
been in vogue, and some of them survive even to-day in England and in
other parts of Europe as popular tests of puberty and virginity. Mr.
Dyer, in his _Church Lore Gleanings_, mentions the "louping," or
"petting" stone at Belford, in Northumberland (England), a stone "placed
in the path outside the church porch, over which the bridal pair with
their attendants must leap"--the belief is that "the bride must leave
all her pets and humours behind her when she crosses it." At
High-Coquetdale, according to Mr. Henderson, in 1868, a bride was made
to jump over a stick held by two groomsmen at the church door (436.
125). Another very curious practice is connected with St. Wilfrid's
"needle" at Ripon Cathedral--said to be an imitation of the Basilican
transenna. Through this passage maidens who were accused of unchastity
crept in order to prove their innocence. If they could not pass through,
their guilt was presumed. It is also believed that "poor palsied folk
crept through in the expectation of being healed." At Boxley Church in
Kent, there was a "small figure of St. Rumbold, which only those could
lift who had never sinned in thought or deed" (436. 312, 313).

At a marriage among the Nootka Indians of Vancouver Island, the groom's
party essay feats like these: "Heavy weights are lifted; they try who is
the best jumper. A blanket with a hole in the centre is hung up, and men
walk up to it blindfolded from a distance of about twenty steps. When
they get near it they must point with their fingers towards the blanket,
and try to hit the hole. They also climb a pole, on top of which an
eagle's nest, or something representing an eagle's nest, is placed. The
winner of each game receives a number of blankets from the girl's
father. When the games are at an end, the groom's father distributes
blankets among the other party" (404. 43). This reminds us of the games
at picnics and social gatherings of our own people.

In the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for January, 1895, S. O. Addy, in an
article entitled "English Surnames and Heredity," points out how the
etymologies give us some indications of the physical characteristics of
the persons on whom the names were conferred. In primitive times and
among the lower races names are even of more importance in this respect.

Clark says: "I have seen a baby not two days old snugly tied up in one
of these little sacks; the rope tied to the pommel of the saddle, the
sack hanging down alongside of the pony, and mother and child
comfortably jogging along, making a good day's march in bitter cold
winter weather, easily keeping up with a column of cavalry which was
after hostile Indians. After being carefully and firmly tied in the
cradle, the child, as a rule, is only taken out to be cleaned in the
morning, and again in the evening just before the inmates of a lodge go
to sleep; sometimes also in the middle of the day, but on the march only
morning and evening" (420. 57).

In his account of the habits of the Tarahumari Indians, Lumholtz
observes: "Heat never seems to trouble them. I have seen young babies
sleeping with uncovered heads on the backs of their mothers, exposed to
the fierce heat of the summer sun." The same writer tells us that once
he pulled six hairs at once from a sleeping child, "without causing the
least disturbance," and only when twenty-three had been extracted at
once did the child take notice, and then only scratched its head and
slept on (107. 297).

Colonel Dodge notes the following practice in vogue among the wild
Indians of the West:--

"While the child, either boy or girl, is very young, the mother has
entire charge, control, and management of it. It is soon taught not to
cry by a very summary process. When it attempts to 'set up a yell,' the
mother covers its mouth with the palm of her hand, grasps its nose
between her thumb and forefinger, and holds on until the little one is
nearly suffocated. It is then let go, to be seized and smothered again
at the first attempt to cry. The baby very soon comprehends that silence
is the best policy" (432.187).

Of the Indians of Lower California, who learn to stand and walk before
they are a year old, we are told on the authority of the missionary
Baegert: "When they are born they are cradled in the shell of a turtle
or on the ground. As soon as the child is a few months old, the mother
places it perfectly naked astraddle on her shoulders, its legs hanging
down on both sides in front. In this guise the mother roves about all
day, exposing her helpless charge to the hot rays of the sun and the
chilly winds that sweep over the inhospitable country" (306. 185).


Curious indeed are some of the methods in use among primitive peoples to
induce sleep. According to Mr. Fraser, the natives of a village near the
banks of the Girree, in the Himalayan region of India, had the following
custom (_Quart. Rev._ XXIV. 109):--

"The mother, seizing the infant with both arms and aided by the knees,
gives it a violent whirling motion, that would seem rather calculated to
shake the child in pieces than to produce the effect of soft slumber;
but the result was unerring, and in a few seconds the child was fast

Somewhat akin to this procedure is the practice our modern mothers and
nurses have of swinging the baby through a sort of semicircle in their
arms, accompanying it with the familiar song,--

  "This way,
  And that way," etc.

This song and action, their dolls doing duty as children, have been
introduced into the kindergarten, and even figure now in "doll-drills"
on the stage, and at church festivals and society entertainments.

Of the same village the author goes on to say:--

"Several straw sheds are constructed on a bank, above which a cold clear
stream is led to water their fields, and a small portion of this,
probably of three fingers' breadth, is brought into the shed by a hollow
stick or piece of bark, and falls from this spout into a small drain,
which carries it off about two feet below. The women bring their
children to these huts in the heat of the day, and having lulled them to
sleep and wrapt their bodies and feet warm in a blanket, they place them
on a small bench or tray horizontally, in such a way that the water
shall fall upon the crown of the head, just keeping the whole top wet
with its stream. We saw two under this operation, and several others
came in while we remained, to place their children in a similar way.
Males and females are equally used thus, and their sleep seemed sound
and unruffled."

_"Heroic Treatment."_

The Andamanese baby "within a few hours of its birth has its head shaved
and painted with _kòvob_--(an ochre-mixture), while its diminutive
face and body are adorned with a design in _tiela-og_--(white
clay); this latter, as may be supposed, is soon obliterated, and
requires therefore to be constantly renewed." We are further informed
that before shaving an infant, "the mother usually moistens the head
with milk which she presses from her breast," while with older children
and adults water serves for this purpose (498. 114).

The "heroic treatment," meted out by primitive peoples to children, as
they approach puberty, has been discussed in detail by Ploss, Kulischer,
Daniels. Religion and the desire to attract the affection or attention
of the other sex seem to lie very close to the fundamental reasons for
many of these practices, as Westermarck points out in his chapter on the
"Means of Attraction." (166. 165-212). A divine origin is often ascribed
to these strange mutilations. "The Australian Dieyerie, on being asked
why he knocks out two front teeth of the upper jaw of his children, can
answer only that, when they were created, the Muranaura, a good spirit,
thus disfigured the first child, and, pleased at the sight, commanded
that the like should be done to every male or female child for ever
after. The Pelew Islanders believe that the perforation of the septum of
the nose is necessary for winning eternal bliss; and the Nicaraguans say
that their ancestors were instructed by the gods to flatten their
children's heads. Again, in Fiji it is supposed that the custom of
tattooing is in conformity with the appointment of the god Dengei, and
that its neglect is punished after death. A similar idea prevails among
the Kingsmill Islanders and Ainos; and the Greenlanders formerly
believed that the heads of those girls who had not been deformed by long
stitches made with a needle and black thread between the eyes, on the
forehead, and upon the chin, would be turned into train tubs and placed
under the lamps in heaven, in the land of souls" (165. 170, 171).

Were all the details of the fairy-tales true, which abound in every
land, the cruelty meted out to the child suspected of being a changeling
would surpass human belief. Hartland enumerates the following procedures
as having been in use, according to legend, to determine the justice of
the suspicion: Flinging the child on a dung-heap; putting in the oven;
holding a red-hot shovel before the child's face; heating a poker
red-hot to mark a cross on its forehead; heating the tongs red-hot to
seize it by the nose; throwing on, or into, the fire; suspending over
the fire in a pot; throwing the child naked on the glowing embers at
midnight; throwing into lake, river, or sea (258. 120-123). These and
many more figure in story, and not a few of them seem to have been
actually practised upon the helpless creatures, who, like the heathen,
were not supposed to call for pity or love. Mr. Hartland cites a case of
actual attempt to treat a supposed changeling in a summary manner, which
occurred no later than May 17,1884, in the town of Clonmel, Ireland. In
the absence of the mother of a three-year-old child (fancied by the
neighbours to be a changeling), two women "entered her house and placed
the child naked on a hot shovel, 'under the impression that it would
break the charm,'"--the only result being, of course, that the infant
was very severely burned (258. 121).

On the other hand, children of true Christian origin, infants who
afterwards become saints, are subject to all sorts of torment at the
hands of Satan and his angels, at times, but come forth, like the
"children" of the fiery furnace in the time of Daniel, in imitation of
whose story many of the hagiological legends have doubtless been put
forth, unscathed from fire, boiling water, roaring torrents, and other
perilous or deadly situations (191. 9,122).



These are my jewels.--_Cornelia (mother of the Gracchi)_.

  A simple child
  That lightly draws its breath,
  And feels its life in every limb,
  What should it know of death?--_Wordsworth_.

Children always turn towards the light.--_Hare_.

  That I could bask in Childhood's sun
  And dance o'er Childhood's roses!--_Praed_.

Grief fills the room up of my absent child.--_Shakespeare_.

_Parental Love_.

In his essay on _The Pleasures of Home_, Sir John Lubbock makes the
following statement (494. 102):--

"In the _Origin of Civilization_, I have given many cases showing
how small a part family affection plays in savage life. Here I will only
mention one case in illustration. The Algonquin (North America) language
contained no word for 'to love,' so that when the missionaries
translated the Bible into it they were obliged to invent one. What a
life, and what a language, without love!"

How unfortunately inaccurate, how entirely unjustifiable, such a
declaration is, may be seen from the study of the words for love in two
of the Algonkian dialects,--Cree and Chippeway,--which Dr. Brinton has
made in one of his essays, _The Conception of Love in some American
Languages_. Let us quote the _ipsissima verba_ (411. 415):--

(1) "In both of them the ordinary words for love and friendship are
derived from the same monosyllabic root, _sak_. On this, according
to the inflectional laws of the dialects, are built up the terms for the
love of man to woman, a lover, love in the abstract, a friend,
friendship, and the like. It is also occasionally used by the
missionaries for the love of man to God and of God to man."

(2) "The Cree has several words which are confined to parental and
filial love, and to that which the gods have for men."

(3) "In the Chippeway there is a series of expressions for family love
and friendship which in their origin carry us back to the same
psychological process which developed the Latin _amare_ from the
Sanscrit _sam_."

(4) "The highest form of love, however, that which embraces all men and
all beings, that whose conception is conveyed in the Greek [Greek:
_agapæ_], we find expressed in both the dialects by derivatives
from a root different from any I have mentioned. It is in its dialectic
forms _kis_, _keche_, or _kiji_, and in its origin it is
an intensive interjectional expression of pleasure, indicative of what
gives joy. Concretely, it signifies what is completed, permanent,
powerful, perfected, perfect. As friendship and love yield the most
exalted pleasure, from this root the natives drew a fund of words to
express fondness, attachment, hospitality, charity; and from the same
worthy source they selected that adjective [_kije, kise_], which
they applied to the greatest and most benevolent divinity."

Surely this people cannot be charged with a lack of words for love,
whose language enables them so well to express its every shade of
meaning. Nay, they have even seen from afar that "God is Love," as their
concept of Michabo tells us they had already perceived that He was

_Motherhood and Fatherhood_.

The nobility and the sanctity of motherhood have found recognition among
the most primitive of human races. A Mussulman legend of Adam and Eve
represents the angel Gabriel as saying to the mother of mankind after
the expulsion from Paradise: "Thou shalt be rewarded for all the pains
of motherhood, and the death of a woman in child-bed shall be accounted
as martyrdom" (547. 38). The natives of the Highlands of Borneo hold
that to a special hereafter, known as "Long Julan," go those who have
suffered a violent death (been killed in battle, or by the falling of a
tree, or some like accident), and women who die in child-birth; which
latter become the wives of those who have died in battle. In this
Paradise everybody is rich, with no need for labour, as all wants are
supplied without work (475. 199).

Somewhat similar beliefs prevailed in ancient Mexico and among the

Even so with the father. Zoroaster said in the book of the law: "I name
the married before the unmarried, him who has a household before him who
has none, the father of a family before him who is childless" (125. I.
108). Dr. Winternitz observes of the Jews: "To possess children was
always the greatest good-fortune that could befall a Jew. It was deemed
the duty of every man to beget a son; the Rabbis, indeed, considered a
childless man as dead. To the Cabbalists of the Middle Ages, the man who
left no posterity behind him seemed one who had not fulfilled his
mission in this world, and they believed that he had to return once more
to earth and complete it" (385. 5).

Ploss (125. I. 108) and Lallemand (286. 21) speak in like terms of this
children-loving people. The Talmud ranks among the dead "the poor, the
leprous, the blind, and those who have no children," and the wives of
the patriarchs of old cheerfully adopted as their own the children born
to their husband by slave or concubine. To be the father of a large
family, the king of a numerous people, was the ideal of the true
Israelite. So, also, was it in India and China.

Ploss and Haberlandt have a good deal to say of the ridicule lavished
upon old maids and bachelors among the various peoples and races, and
Rink has recorded not a few tales on this head from the various tribes
of the Eskimo--in these stories, which are of a more or less trifling
and _outré_ character, bachelors are unmercifully derided (525.

With the Chippeways, also, the bachelor is a butt for wit and sarcasm. A
tale of the Mississagas of Skugog represents a bachelor as "having gone
off to a certain spot and built a lot of little 'camps.' He built fires,
etc., and passed his time trying to make people believe he was not
alone. He used to laugh and talk, and pretend that he had people living
there." Even the culture-heroes Gluskap and Näniboju are derided in some
of the tales for not being married (166. 376).

According to Barbosa (67. 161), a writer of the early part of the
sixteenth century, the Nairs, a Dravidian people of the Malabar coast
(523. 159), believed that "a maiden who refused to marry and remained a
virgin would be shut out of Paradise." The Fijians excluded from
Paradise all bachelors; they were smashed to pieces by the god
Nangganangga (166. 137).

In the early chronicles and mythic lore of many peoples there are tales
of childless couples, who, in their quaint fashion, praying to the gods,
have been blest with the desired offspring. There is, however, no story
more pathetic, or more touching, than the Russian folk-tale cited by
Ralston, in which we read concerning an old childless couple (520. 176):
"At last the husband went into the forest, felled wood, and made a
cradle. Into this his wife laid one of the logs he had cut, and began
swinging it, crooning the while a tune beginning:--

  'Swing, blockie dear, swing.'

After a little time, behold! the block already had legs. The old woman
rejoiced greatly, and began swinging anew, and went on swinging until
the block became a babe."

The rude prayers and uncouth aspirations of barbarous and savage
peoples, these crude ideas of the uncivilized races of men, when sounded
in their deepest depths, are the folk-expression of the sacredness of
the complete family, the forerunners of the poet's prayer:--

  "Seigneur! préservez-moi, préservez ceux que j'aime,
  Frères, parents, amis, et ennemis même
  Dans le mal triomphants,
  De jamais voir, Seigneur! l'été sans fleurs vermeilles,
  La cage sans oiseaux, la ruche sans abeilles,
  La maison sans enfants."

The affection of the ancient Egyptians for their children is noted by
Erman. The child is called "mine," "the only one," and is "loved as the
eyes of its parents"; it is their "beauty," or "wealth." The son is the
"fair-come" or "welcome"; at his birth "wealth comes." At the birth of a
girl it is said "beauty comes," and she is called "the lady of her
father" (441. 216-230). Interesting details of Egyptian child-life and
education may be read in the recently edited text of Amélineau (179),
where many maxims of conduct and behaviour are given. Indeed, in the
naming of children we have some evidence of motherly and fatherly
affection, some indication of the gentle ennobling influence of this
emotion over language and linguistic expression. True is it all over the

  Liebe Kinder haben viele Namen.
  [Dear children have many names.]

_The Dead Child_.

Parental affection is nowhere more strongly brought out than in the
lamentations for the dead among some of the lowest tribes of Californian
Indians. Of the Yokaia, Mr. Powers tells us (519. 166):--

"It is their custom to 'feed the spirits of the dead' for the space of
one year, by going daily to places which they were accustomed to
frequent while living, where they sprinkle piñole upon the ground. A
Yokaia mother who has lost her babe goes every day for a year to some
place where her little one played while alive, or to the spot where its
body was burned, and milks her breasts into the air. This is accompanied
by plaintive mourning and weeping and piteous calling upon her little
one to return, and sometimes she sings a hoarse and melancholy chant,
and dances with a wild, ecstatic swaying of the body."

Of the Miwok the same authority says:--

"The squaws wander off into the forest, wringing their arms piteously,
beating the air, with eyes upturned, and adjuring the departed one, whom
they tenderly call 'dear child,' or 'dear cousin' (whether a relative or
not), to return."

Of the Niskwaili Indians, of the State of Washington, Dr. Gibbs observes
(457. 205):--

"They go out alone to some place a little distant from the lodge or
camp, and in a loud, sobbing voice, repeat a sort of stereotyped
formula, as, for instance, a mother on the loss of her child:--

  'Ah seahb! shed-da bud-dah ah-ta-bud! ad-de-dah!
   Ah chief  my  child  dead!  alas!'

When in dreams they see any of their deceased friends this lamentation
is renewed."

Very beautiful and touching in the extreme is the conduct of the
Kabinapek of California:--

"A peculiarity of this tribe is the intense sorrow with which they mourn
for their children when dead. Their grief is immeasurable. They not only
burn up everything that the baby ever touched, but everything that they
possess, so that they absolutely begin life over again--naked as they
were born, without an article of property left" (519. 206).

Besides the custom of "feeding the spirits of the dead," just noticed,
there exists also among certain of the Californian Indians the practice
of "whispering a message into the ear of the dead." Mr. Powers has
preserved for us the following most beautiful speech, which, he tells
us, was whispered into the ear of a child by a woman of the Karok ere
the first shovelful of earth was cast upon it (519. 34): "O, darling, my
dear one, good-bye! Never more shall your little hands softly clasp
these old withered cheeks, and your pretty feet shall print the moist
earth around my cabin never more. You are going on a long journey in the
spirit-land, and you must go alone, for none of us can go with you.
Listen then to the words which I speak to you and heed them well, for I
speak the truth. In the spirit-land there are two roads. One of them is
a path of roses, and it leads to the Happy Western Land beyond the great
water, where you shall see your dear mother. The other is a path strewn
with thorns and briars, and leads, I know not whither, to an evil and
dark land, full of deadly serpents, where you wander forever. O, dear
child, choose you the path of roses, which leads to the Happy Western
Land, a fair and sunny land, beautiful as the morning. And may the great
Kareya [the Christ of these aborigines] help you to walk in it to the
end, for your little tender feet must walk alone. O, darling, my dear
one, good-bye!"

This whispering to the dead is found in other parts of the world. Mr.
Hose, describing the funeral of a boy, which he witnessed in Borneo,
says (475. 198):--

"As the lid of the coffin was being closed, an old man came out on the
verandah of the house with a large gong (Tetawak) and solemnly beat it
for several seconds. The chief, who was sitting near, informed me that
this was done always before closing the lid, that the relations of the
deceased might know that the spirit was coming to join them; and upon
his arrival in Apo Leggan [Hades] they would probably greet him in such
terms as these: 'O grandchild, it was for you the gong was beating,
which we heard just now; what have you brought? How are they all up
above? Have they sent any messages?'" The new arrival then delivers the
messages entrusted to him, and gives the cigarettes--which, rolled up in
a banana-leaf, have been placed in his hand--as proof of the truth of
what he says. These cigarettes retain the smell of the hand that made
them, which the dead relations are thought to be able to recognize.

_Motherhood and Infanticide_.

The intimate relationship recognized as existing between the infant and
its mother has been among many primitive peoples a frequent cause of
infanticide, or has been held at least to excuse and justify that crime.
Of the natives of Ashanti, Ellis says:--

"Should the mother die in childbirth, and the child itself be born
alive, it is customary to bury it with the mother.... The idea seems to
be that the child belongs to the mother, and is sent to accompany her to
_Srahmanadzi_ [ghost-land], so that her _srahman_ [ghost] may
not grieve for it" (438. 234). Post states that in Unyóro, when the
mother dies in childbirth, the infant is killed; among the Hottentots it
was exposed (if the mother died during the time of suckling, the child
was buried alive with her); among the Damara, "when poor women die and
leave children behind them, they are often buried with the mother" (127.
I. 287).

According to Collins and Barrington, among certain native tribes of
Australia, "when the mother of a suckling dies, if no adoptive parents
can be found, the child is placed alive in the arms of the corpse and
buried together with it" (125. II. 589). Of the Banians of Bombay,
Niebuhr tells us that children under eighteen months old are buried when
the mother dies, the corpse of the latter being burned at ebb tide on
the shore of the sea, so that the next tide may wash away the ashes
(125. II. 581). In certain parts of Borneo: "If a mother died in
childbirth, it was the former practice to strap the living babe to its
dead mother, and bury them both, together. 'Why should it live?' say
they. 'It has been the death of its mother; now she is gone, who will
suckle it?'" (481 (1893). 133).

In certain parts of Australia, "children who have caused their mother
great pain in birth are put to death" (127. I. 288), and among the
Sakalavas of Madagascar, the child of a woman dying in childbed is
buried alive with her, the reason given being "that the child may thus
be punished for causing the death of its mother" (125. II. 590).

As has been noted elsewhere, not a few primitive peoples have considered
that death, in consequence of giving birth to a child, gained for the
mother entrance into Paradise. But with some more or less barbarous
tribes quite a different idea prevails. Among the Ewe negroes of the
slave coast of West Africa, women dying in childbirth become
blood-seeking demons; so also in certain parts of Borneo, and on the
Sumatran island of Nias, where they torment the living, plague women who
are with child, and kill the embryo in the womb, thus causing abortion;
in Java, they make women in labour crazy; in Amboina, the Uliase and Kei
Islands, and Gilolo, they become evil spirits, torturing women in
labour, and seeking to prevent their successful delivery; in Gilolo, the
Kei group, and Celebes, they even torment men, seeking to emasculate
them, in revenge for the misfortune which has overtaken them (397.19).

Of the Doracho Indians of Central America, the following statement is
made: "When a mother, who is still suckling her child, dies, the latter
is placed alive upon her breast and burned with her, so that in the
future life she may continue to suckle it with her own milk" (125. II.
589). Powers remarks concerning the Korusi (Patwin) Indians of
California (519. 222): "When a woman died, leaving her infant very
young, the friends shook it to death in a skin or blanket. This was done
even with a half-breed child." Of the Nishinam Indians, the same
authority informs us: "When a mother dies, leaving a very young infant,
custom allows the relatives to destroy it. This is generally done by the
grandmother, aunt, or other near relative, who holds the poor innocent
in her arms, and, while it is seeking the maternal fountain, presses it
to her breast until it is smothered. We must not judge them too harshly
for this. They knew nothing of bottle nurture, patent nipples, or any
kind of milk whatever, other than the human" (519. 328).

Among the Wintun, also, young infants are known to have been buried when
the mother had died shortly after confinement (519. 232).

The Eskimo, Letourneau informs us, were wont to bury the little child
with its dead mother, for they believed that unless this were done, the
mother herself would call from _Killo_, the other world, for the
child she had borne (100. 147, 148).

_The Dead Mother._

To none of the saintly dead, to none of our race who have entered upon
the life beyond the grave, is it more meet to pray than to the mother;
folk-faith is strong in her power to aid and bless those left behind on
earth. That sympathetic relation existing between mother and child when
both are living, is often believed to exist when one has departed into
the other world. By the name _wa-hdé ca-pi_, the Dakota Indians
call the feeling the (living) mother has for her absent (living) child,
and they assert that "mothers feel peculiar pain in their breasts when
anything of importance happens to their absent children, or when about
to hear from them. This feeling is regarded as an omen." That the
mother, after death, should feel the same longing, and should return to
help or to nourish her child, is an idea common to the folk-belief of
many lands, as Ploss (125. II. 589) and Zmigrodzki have noted.

"Amid the song of the angels," says Zmigrodzki (174. 142), "the plaint
of her child on earth reaches the mother's ear, and pierces her heart
like a knife. Descend to earth she must and does." In Brittany she is
said to go to God Himself and obtain permission to visit earth. Her
flight will be all the easier, if, before burial, her relatives have
loosed her hair. In various parts of Germany and Switzerland, the belief
is that for six weeks the dead mother will come at night to suckle her
child, and a pair of slippers or shoes are always put into the coffin
with the corpse, for the mother has to travel over thistles, thorns, and
sharp stones to reach her child. Widespread over Europe is this belief
in the return of the mother, who has died in giving life to her little
one. Till cock-crow in the morning she may suckle it, wash it, fondle
it; the doors open of themselves for her. If the child is being well
treated by its relatives, the mother rejoices, and soon departs; but if
it has been neglected, she attends to it, and waits till the last
moment, making audible her unwillingness to depart. If the neglect
continues, the mother descends to earth once more, and, taking the child
with her, returns to heaven for good. And when the mother with her
offspring approaches the celestial gates, they fly wide open to receive
them. Never, in the folk-faith, was entrance readier granted, never was
Milton's concept more completely realized, when

  "Heaven open'd wide
  Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound,
  On golden hinges moving."

In a modern Greek folk-song three youths plot to escape from Hades, and
a young mother, eager to return to earth to suckle her infant child,
persuades them to allow her to accompany them. Charon, however, suddenly
appears upon the scene and seizes them just as they are about to flee.
The beautiful young woman then appeals to him: "Let go of my hair,
Charon, and take me by the hand. If thou wilt but give my child to
drink, I will never try to escape from thee again" (125. II. 589).

The watchful solicitude of the mother in heaven over her children on
earth appears also in the Basque country (505. 73), and Ralston, noting
its occurrence in Russia, observes (520. 265):--

"Appeals for aid to a dead parent are of frequent occurrence in the
songs still sung by the Russian peasantry at funerals or over graves;
especially in those in which orphans express their grief, calling upon
the grave to open, and the dead to appear and listen and help. So in the
Indian story of Punchkin, the seven hungry, stepmother-persecuted
princesses go out every day and sit by their dead mother's tomb, and
cry, and say, 'Oh, mother, mother, cannot you see your poor children,
how unhappy we are,' etc., until a tree grows up out of the grave laden
with fruits for their relief. So, in the German tale, Cinderella is
aided by the white bird, which dwells in the hazel-tree growing out of
her mother's grave."

Crude and savage, but born of a like faith in the power of the dead
mother, is the inhuman practice of the people of the Congo, where, it is
said, "the son often kills his mother, in order to secure the assistance
of her soul, now a formidable spirit" (388. 81).

Heavy upon her offspring weighs the curse of a mother. Ralston, speaking
of the Russian folk-tales, says (520. 363):--

"Great stress is laid in the skazkas and legends upon the terrible power
of a parent's curse. The 'hasty word' of a father or a mother will
condemn even an innocent child to slavery among devils, and, when it has
once been uttered, it is irrevocable," The same authority states,
however, that "infants which have been cursed by their mothers before
their birth, or which are suffocated during their sleep, or which die
from any causes unchristened or christened by a drunken priest, become
the prey of demons," and in order to rescue the soul of such a babe from
the powers of evil "its mother must spend three nights in a church,
standing within a circle traced by the hand of a priest; when the cocks
crow on the third morning the demons will give her back her dead child."

_Fatherly Affection._

That the father, as well as the mother, feels for his child after death,
and appears to him, is an idea found in fairy-story and legend, but
nowhere so sweetly expressed as in the beautiful Italian belief that
"the kind, dear spirits of the dead relatives and parents come out of
the tombs to bring presents to the children of the family,--whatever
their little hearts most desire." The proverb,--common at Aci,--_Veni
mè patri?--Appressu_, "Is my father coming?--By and by," used "when
an expected friend makes himself long waited for," is said to have the
following origin:--

"There was once a little orphan boy, who, in his anxiety to see his dead
father once again, went out into the night when the kind spirits walk,
and, in spite of all the fearful beating of his little heart, asked of
every one whom he met: _Veni mè patri?_ and each one answered:
_Appressu_. As he had the courage to hold out to the end, he
finally had the consolation of seeing his father and having from him
caresses and sweetmeats" (449. 327).

Rev. Mr. Grill speaks highly of the affection for children of the
Polynesians. Following is the translation of a song composed and sung by
Rakoia, a warrior and chief of Mangaia, in the Hervey Archipelago, on
the death of his eldest daughter Enuataurere, by drowning, at the age of
fifteen (459. 32):--

  "My first-born; where art thou?
  Oh that my wild grief for thee,
  Pet daughter, could be assuaged!
  Snatched away in time of peace.

  Thy delight was to swim,
  Thy head encircled with flowers,
  Interwoven with fragrant laurel
  And the spotted-leaved jessamine.

  Whither is my pet gone--
  She who absorbed all my love--
  She whom I had hoped
  To fill with ancestral wisdom?

  Red and yellow pandanus drupes
  Were sought out in thy morning rambles,
  Nor was the sweet-scented myrtle forgotten.

  Sometimes thou didst seek out
  Fugitives perishing in rocks and caves.

  Perchance one said to thee,
  'Be mine, be mine, forever;
  For my love to thee is great.'

  Happy the parent of such a child!
  Alas for Enuataurere! Alas for Enuataurere!

  Thou wert lovely as a fairy!
  A husband for Enuataurere!

  Each envious youth exclaims:
  'Would that she were mine!'

  Enuataurere now trips o'er the ruddy ocean.
  Thy path is the foaming crest of the billow.

  Weep for Enuataurere--
  For Enuataurere."

This song, though, published in 1892, seems to have been composed about
the year 1815, at a _fête_ in honour of the deceased. Mr. Gill
justly calls attention to the beauty of the last stanza but one, where
"the spirit of the girl is believed to follow the sun, tripping lightly
over the crest of the billows, and sinking with the sun into the
underworld (Avaiki), the home of disembodied spirits."

Among others of the lower races of men, we find the father, expressing
his grief at the loss of a child, as tenderly and as sincerely as, if
less poetically than, the Polynesian chief, though often the daughter is
not so well honoured in death as is the son. Our American Indian tribes
furnish not a few instances of such affectionate lamentation.

Much too little has been made of the bright side of child-life among the
lower races. But from even the most primitive of tribes all traces of
the golden age of childhood are not absent. Powers, speaking of the
Yurok Indians of California, notes "the happy cackle of brown babies
tumbling on their heads with the puppies" (519. 51), and of the Wintun,
in the wild-clover season, "their little ones frolicked and tumbled on
their heads in the soft sunshine, or cropped the clover on all-fours
like a tender calf" (519. 231). Of the Pawnee Indians, Irving says (478.
214): "In the farther part of the building about a dozen naked children,
with faces almost hid by their tangled hair, were rolling and wrestling
upon the floor, occasionally causing the lodge to re-echo with their
childish glee." Mr. im Thurn, while among the Indians of Guiana, had his
attention "especially attracted by one merry little fellow of about five
years old, whom I first saw squatting, as on the top of a hill, on top
of a turtle-shell twice as big as himself, with his knees drawn up to
his chin, and solemnly smoking a long bark cigarette" (477. 39). Of the
wild Indians of the West, Colonel Dodge tells us: "The little children
are much petted and spoiled; tumbling and climbing, unreproved, over the
father and his visitors in the lodge, and never seem to be an annoyance
or in the way" (432. 189). Mr. MacCauley, who visited the Seminole
Indians of Florida, says: "I remember seeing, one day, one jolly little
fellow, lolling and rollicking on his mother's back, kicking her and
tugging away at the strings of beads which hung temptingly between her
shoulders, while the mother, hand-free, bore on one shoulder a log,
which, a moment afterwards, still keeping her baby on her back as she
did so, she chopped into small wood for the camp-fire." (496. 498).

There is a Zuñi story of a young maiden, "who, strolling along, saw a
beautiful little baby boy bathing in the waters of a spring; she was so
pleased with his beauty that she took him home, and told her mother that
she had found a lovely little boy" (358. 544). Unfortunately, it turned
out to be a serpent in the end.


As Darwin and other authorities have remarked, there are races of men
upon the face of the earth, in America, in Africa, in Asia, and in the
Island world, who, when first seen of white discoverers, knew not what
it meant to kiss (499. 139). The following statement will serve for
others than the people to whom it refers: "The only kiss of which the
Annamite woman is cognizant is to place her nose against the man's
cheek, and to rub it gently up and down, with a kind of canine sniff."

Mantegazza tells us that Raden-Saleh, a "noble and intelligent" Javanese
painter, told him that, "like all Malays, he considered there was more
tenderness in the contact of the noses than of the lips," and even the
Japanese, the English of the extreme Orient, were once ignorant of the
art of kissing (499. 139).

Great indeed is the gulf between the Javanese artist and the American,
Benjamin West, who said: "A kiss from my mother made me a painter." To a
kiss from the Virgin Mother of Christ, legend says, St. Chrysostom owed
his "golden mouth." The story runs thus: "St. Chrysostom was a dull boy
at school, and so disturbed was he by the ridicule of his fellows, that
he went into a church to pray for help to the Virgin. A voice came from
the image: 'Kiss me on the mouth, and thou shalt be endowed with all
learning.' He did this, and when he returned to his schoolfellows they
saw a golden circle about his mouth, and his eloquence and brilliancy
astounded them" (347. 621).

Among the natives of the Andaman Islands, Mr. Man informs us, "Kisses
are considered indicative of affection, but are only bestowed upon
infants" (498. 79).


 "Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
  Tears from the depths of some divine despair,
  Rise in the heart and gather to the eyes,
  In looking at the happy autumn fields,
  And thinking of the days that are no more."

Thus sang the great English laureate, and to the simple folk--the
treasure-keepers of the lore of the ages--his words mean much.

Pliny, the Elder, in his _Natural History_, makes this statement:
"Man alone at the very moment of his birth, cast naked upon the naked
earth, does she [Nature] abandon to cries and lamentations;" the writer
of the _Wisdom of Solomon_, in the Apocrypha, expresses himself in
like manner: "When I was born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon
the earth, which is of like nature, and the first voice I uttered was
crying, as all others do." Burton, in his _Anatomy of Melancholy_,
bluntly resumes both: "He is born naked, and falls a-whining at the

The Spaniards have a proverb, brusque and cynical:--

  "Des que naeí lloré, y cada dia nace porqué.
  [I wept as soon as I was born, and every day explains why.]"

A quaint legend of the Jewish Rabbis, however, accounts for children's
tears in this fashion:--

"Beside the child unborn stand two angels, who not only teach it the
whole Tora [the traditional interpretation of the Mosaic law], but also
let it see all the joys of Paradise and all the torments of Hell. But,
since it may not be that a child should come into the world endowed with
such knowledge, ere it is born into the life of men an angel strikes it
on the upper lip, and all wisdom vanishes. The dimple on the upper lip
is the mark of the stroke, and this is why new-born babes cry and weep"
(385. 6).

Curiously enough, as if to emphasize the relativity of
folk-explanations, a Mussulman legend states that it is "the touch of
Satan" that renders the child "susceptible of sin from its birth," and
that is the reason why "all children cry aloud when they are born" (547.

Henderson tells us that in the north and south of England "nurses think
it lucky for the child to cry at its baptism; they say that otherwise
the baby shows that it is too good to live." But there are those also
who believe that "this cry betokens the pangs of the new birth," while
others hold that it is "the voice of the Evil Spirit as he is driven out
by the baptismal water" (469. 16).

Among the untaught peasantry of Sicily, the sweet story goes that "Mary
sends an angel from Heaven one day every week to play with the souls of
the unbaptized children [in hell]; and when he goes away, he takes with
him, in a golden chalice, all the tears which the little innocents have
shed all through the week, and pours them into the sea, where they
become pearls" (449. 326).

Here again we have a borrowing from an older myth. An Eastern legend has
it that when Eden was lost, Eve, the mother of all men, wept bitterly,
and "her tears, which flowed into the ocean, were changed into costly
pearls, while those which fell on the earth brought forth all beautiful
flowers" (547. 34). In the classic myth, the pearl is said to have been
born of the tears of Venus, just as a Greek legend makes _ælektron_
come from the tears of the sisters of Phaëthon, the daughters of the
sun, and Teutonic story turns the tears of the goddess Freyja into drops
of gold (462. III. 1218).

In the _Kalevala_ we read how, after the wonderful harping of
Wäinämöinen, the great Finnish hero, which enchanted beasts, birds, and
even fishes, was over, the musician shed tears of gratitude, and these,
trickling down his body and through his many garments, were transmuted
into pearls of the sea.

Shakespeare, in _King Henry V_., makes Exeter say to the King,--

  "But all my mother came into mine eyes,
  And gave me up to tears,"--

and the tears of the mother-god figures in the folk-lore of many lands.
The vervain, or verbena, was known as the "Tears of Isis," as well as
the "Tears of Juno,"--a name given also to an East Indian grass (_Coix
lacryma_). The lily of the valley, in various parts of Europe, is
called "The Virgin's Tears," "Tears of Our Lady," "Tears of St. Mary."
Zmigrodzki notes the following belief as current in Germany: "If the
mother weeps too much, her dead child comes to her at night, naked and
trembling, with its little shirt in its hand, and says: 'Ah, dearest
mother, do not weep! See! I have no rest in the grave; I cannot put on
my little shirt, it is all wet with your tears.'" In Cracow, the common
saying is, "God forbid that the tears of the mother should fall upon the
corpse of her child." In Brittany the folk-belief is that "the dead
child has to carry water up a hill in a little bucket, and the tears of
the mother increase its weight" (174. 141).

The Greeks fabled Eos, the dawn-goddess, to have been so disconsolate at
the death of Memnon, her son, that she wept for him every morning, and
her tears are the dewdrops found upon the earth. In the mythology of the
Samoans of the Pacific, the Heaven-god, father of all things, and the
Earth-goddess, mother of all things, once held each other in firm
embrace, but were separated in the long ago. Heaven, however, retains
his love for earth, and, mourning for her through the long nights, he
drops many tears upon her bosom,--these, men call dewdrops. The natives
of Tahiti have a like explanation for the thick-falling rain-drops that
dimple the surface of the ocean, heralding an approaching storm,--they
are tears of the heaven-god. The saying is:--

 "Thickly falls the small rain on the face of the sea,
  They are not drops of rain, but they are tears of Oro."
  (Tylor, Early Hist. of Mankind, p. 334.)

An Indian tribe of California believe that "the rain is the falling
tears of Indians sick in heaven," and they say that it was "the tears of
all mankind, weeping for the loss of a good young Indian," that caused
the deluge, in which all were drowned save a single couple (440. 488).

Oriental legend relates, that, in his utter loneliness after the
expulsion from Paradise, "Adam shed such an abundance of tears that all
beasts and birds satisfied their thirst therewith; but some of them sunk
into the earth, and, as they still contained some of the juices of his
food in Paradise, produced the most fragrant trees and spices." We are
further told that "the tears flowed at last in such torrents from Adam's
eyes, that those of his right started the Euphrates, while those of his
left set the Tigris in motion" (547. 34).

These are some of the answers of the folk to the question of

 "What's the matter,
  That this distempered messenger of wet,
  The many-coloured Iris, rounds thine eye?"

And many more are there that run along the lines of Scott's epigrammatic

 "A child will weep a bramble's smart,
  A maid to see her sparrow part,
  A stripling for a woman's heart:
  But woe betide a country, when
  She sees the tears of bearded men."


According to Mr. Powers: "The conspicuous painstaking which the Modok
squaw expends upon her baby-basket is an index of her maternal love. And
indeed the Modok are strongly attached to their offspring,--a fact
abundantly attested by many sad and mournful spectacles witnessed in the
closing scenes of the war of 1873. On the other hand, a California squaw
often carelessly sets her baby in a deep, conical basket, the same in
which she carries her household effects, leaving him loose and liable to
fall out. If she makes a baby-basket, it is totally devoid of ornament;
and one tribe, the Miwok, contemptuously call it 'the dog's nest.' It is
among Indians like these that we hear of infanticide" (519. 257).

The subject of children's cradles, baby-baskets, baby-boards, and the
methods of manipulating and carrying the infant in connection therewith,
have been treated of in great detail by Ploss (325), Pokrovski, and
Mason (306), the second of whom has written especially of the cradles in
use among the various peoples of European and Asiatic Eussia, with a
general view of those employed by other races, the last with particular
reference to the American aborigines. The work is illustrated, as is
also that of Ploss, with many engravings. Professor Mason thus briefly
sums up the various purposes which the different species of cradle
subserve (306. 161-162):--

"(1) It is a mere nest for the helpless infant.

"(2) It is a bed so constructed and manipulated as to enable the child
to sleep either in a vertical or a horizontal position.

"(3) It is a vehicle in which the child is to be transported, chiefly on
the mother's back by means of a strap over the forehead, but frequently
dangling like a bundle at the saddle-bow. This function, of course,
always modifies the structure of the cradle, and, indeed, may have
determined its very existence among nomadic tribes.

"(4) It is indeed a cradle, to be hung upon the limbs to rock, answering
literally to the nursery-rhyme:--

  'Rock-a-bye baby upon the tree-top,
  When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
  When the bough bends, the cradle will fall,
  Down will come baby, and cradle, and all.'

"(5) It is also a playhouse and baby-jumper. On many--nearly
all--specimens may be seen dangling objects to evoke the senses,
foot-rests by means of which the little one may exercise its legs,
besides other conveniences anticipatory of the child's needs.

"(6) The last set of functions to which the frame is devoted are those
relating to what we may call the graduation of infancy, when the papoose
crawls out of its chrysalis little by little, and then abandons it
altogether. The child is next seen standing partly on the mother's
cincture and partly hanging to her neck, or resting like a pig in a poke
within the folds of her blanket."

Professor Mason sees in the cradle-board or frame "the child of
geography and of meteorology," and in its use "a beautiful illustration
of Bastian's theory of 'great areas.'" In the frozen North, for example,
"the Eskimo mother carries her infant in the hood of her parka whenever
it is necessary to take it abroad. If she used a board or a frame, the
child would perish with the cold."

The varieties of cradles are almost endless. We have the "hood"
(sometimes the "boot") of the Eskimo; the birch-bark cradle (or hammock)
of several of the northern tribes (as in Alaska, or Cape Breton); the
"moss-bag" of the eastern Tinné, the use of which has now extended to
the employés of the Hudson's Bay Company; the "trough-cradle" of the
Bilqula; the Chinook cradle, with its apparatus for head-flattening; the
trowel-shaped cradle of the Oregon coast; the wicker-cradle of the
Hupas; the Klamath cradle of wicker and rushes; the Pomo cradle of
willow rods and wicker-work, with rounded portion for the child to sit
in; the Mohave cradle, with ladder-frame, having a bed of shredded bark
for the child to lie upon; the Yaqui cradle of canes, with soft bosses
for pillows; the Nez Percé cradle-board with buckskin sides, and the
Sahaptian, Ute, and Kootenay cradles which resemble it; the Moki
cradle-frame of coarse wicker, with an awning; the Navajo cradle, with
wooden hood and awning of dressed buckskin; the rude Comanche cradle,
made of a single stiff piece of black-bear skin; the Blackfoot cradle of
lattice-work and leather; the shoe-shaped Sioux cradle, richly adorned
with coloured bead-work; the Iroquois cradle (now somewhat modernized),
with "the back carved in flowers and birds, and painted blue, red,
green, and yellow." Among the Araucanians of Chili we meet with a cradle
which "seems to be nothing more than a short ladder, with cross-bars,"
to which the child is lashed. In the tropical regions and in South
America we find the habit of "carrying the children in the shawl or
sash, and bedding them in the hammock." Often, as in various parts of
Africa, the woman herself forms the cradle, the child clinging astride
her neck or hips, with no bands or attachments whatever. Of woman as
carrier much may be read in the entertaining and instructive volume of
Professor Mason (113). The primitive cradle, bed, and carrier, was the

_Father and Child._

With many of the more primitive races, the idea so tritely expressed in
our familiar saying, "He is a chip of the old block,"--_patris est
filius_, "he is the son of his father,"--and so beautifully wrought
out by Shakespeare,--

 "Behold, my lords,
  Although the print be little, the whole matter
  And copy of the father: eye, nose, lip,
  The trick of his frown, his forehead; nay, the valley,
  The pretty dimples of his chin and cheek; his smiles,
  The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger,"

has a strong hold, making itself felt in a thousand ways and fashions.
The many rites and ceremonies, ablutions, fastings, abstentions from
certain foods and drinks, which the husband has to undergo and submit to
among certain more or less uncivilized peoples, shortly before, or
after, or upon, the occasion of the birth of a child, or while his wife
is pregnant, arise, in part at least, from a firm belief in the
influence of parent upon child and the intimate sympathy between them
even while the latter is yet unborn. Of the Indians of British Guiana,
Mr. im Thurn says, they believe that if the father should eat the flesh
of the capybara, the child would have large protruding teeth like that
animal, while if he should eat that of the labba, the child's skin would
be spotted. "Apparently there is also some idea that for the father to
eat strong food, to wash, to smoke, to handle weapons, would have the
same result as if the new-born baby ate such food, washed, smoked, or
played with edged tools." The connection between the father and the
child, the author thinks, is thought by these Indians to be much closer
than that existing between the mother and her offspring (477. 218). Much
has been written about, and many explanations suggested for, this
ancient and widespread custom. The investigations of recent travellers
seem to have cast some light upon this difficult problem in ethnology.

Dr. Karl von den Steinen (536. 331-337) tells us that the native tribes
of Central Brazil not only believe that the child is "the son of the
father," but that it _is_ the father. To quote his own significant
words: "The father is the patient in so far as he feels himself one with
the new-born child. It is not very difficult to see how he arrives at
this conclusion. Of the human egg-cell and the Graafian follicle the
aborigine is not likely to know anything, nor can he know that the
mother lodges the thing corresponding to the eggs of birds. For him the
man is the bearer of the eggs, which, to speak plainly and clearly, lays
in the mother, and which she hatches during the period of pregnancy. In
the linguistic material at hand we see how this very natural attempt to
explain generation finds expression in the words for 'father',
'testicle,' and 'egg.' In Guarani _tub_ means 'father, spawn,
eggs,' _tupia_ 'eggs,' and even _tup-i_, the name of the
people (the _-i_ is diminutive) really signifies 'little father,'
or 'eggs,' or 'children,' as you please; the 'father' is 'egg,' and the
'child' is 'the little father.' Even the language declares that the
'child' is nothing else than the 'father.' Among the Tupi the father was
also accustomed to take a new name after the birth of each new son; to
explain this, it is in no way necessary to assume that the 'soul' of the
father proceeds each time into the son. In Karaïbi we find exactly the
same idea; _imu_ is 'egg,' or 'testicles,'
or 'child.'"

Among other cognate tribes we find the same thoughts:--

In the Ipurucoto language _imu_ signifies "egg."

In the Bakaïrí language _imu_ signifies "testicles."

In the Tamanako language _imu_ signifies "father."

In the Makusi language _imu_ signifies "semen."

In several dialects _imu-ru_ signifies "child."

Dr. von den Steinen further observes: "Among the Bakaïrí 'child' and
'small' are both _iméri_, 'the child of the chief,' _píma
iméri_; we can translate as we please, either 'the child of the
chief,' or 'the little chief,' and in the case of the latter form, which
we can use more in jest of the son, we are not aware that to the Indian
the child is really nothing more than the little chief, the miniature of
the big one. Strange and hardly intelligible to us is this idea when it
is a girl that is in question. For the girl, too, is 'the little
_father_,' and not 'the little _mother_'; it is only the
father who has made her. In Bakaïrí there are no special words for 'son'
and 'daughter,' but a sex-suffix is added to the word for child when a
distinction is necessary; _píma iméri_ may signify either the son
or the daughter of the chief. The only daughter of the chief is the
inheritrix of possession and rank, both of which pass over with her own
possession to the husband." The whole question of the "Couvade" and like
practices finds its solution in these words of the author: "The
behaviour of the mother, according as she is regarded as more or less
suffering, may differ much with the various tribes, while the conduct of
the father is practically the same with all She goes about her business,
if she feels strong enough, suckles her child, etc. Between the father
and the child there is no mysterious correlation; the child is a
multiplication of him; the father is duplicated, and in order that no
harm may come to the helpless, irrational creature, a miniature of
himself, he must demean himself as a child" (536. 338).

The close relationship between father and child appears also in
folk-medicine, where children (or often adults) are preserved from, or
cured of, certain ailments and diseases by the application of blood
drawn from the father.

In Bavaria a popular remedy against cramps consisted in "the father
pricking himself in the finger and giving the child in its mouth three
drops of blood out of the wound," and at Rackow, in Neu Stettin, to cure
epilepsy in little children, "the father gives the child three drops of
blood out of the first joint of his ring-finger" (361. 19). In Annam,
when a physician cures a small-pox patient, it is thought that the pocks
pass over to his children, and among the Dieyerie of South Australia,
when a child has met with an accident, "all the relatives are beaten
with sticks or boomerangs on the head till the blood flows over their
faces. This is believed to lessen the pain of the child" (397. 60, 205).

Among some savage and uncivilized peoples, the father is associated
closely with the child from the earliest days of its existence. With the
Mincopies of the Andaman Islands, it is the father who, "from the day of
its birth onwards presses the skull and body of the child to give them
the proper form," and among the Macusi Indians of Guiana, the father "in
early youth, pierces the ear-lobe, the lower lip, and the septum of the
nose," while with the Pampas Indians of the Argentine, in the third year
of the child's life, the child's ears are pierced by the father in the
following fashion: "A horse has its feet tied together, is thrown to the
ground, and held fast. The child is then brought out and placed on the
horse, while the father bores its ears with a needle" (326.1.296,301).

With some primitive peoples the father evinces great affection for his
child. Concerning the natives of Australia whom he visited, Lumholtz
observes: "The father may also be good to the child, and he frequently
carries it, takes it in his lap, pats it, searches its hair, plays with
it, and makes little boomerangs which he teaches it to throw. He,
however, prefers boys to girls, and does not pay much attention to the
latter" (495.193). Speaking of another region of the world where
infanticide prevailed,--the Solomon Islands,--Mr. Guppy cites not a few
instances of parental regard and affection. On one occasion "the chief's
son, a little shapeless mass of flesh, a few months old, was handed
about from man to man with as much care as if he had been composed of
something brittle." Of chief Gorai and his wife, whose child was blind,
the author says: "I was much struck with the tenderness displayed in the
manner of both the parents towards their little son, who, seated in his
mother's lap, placed his hand in that of his father, when he was
directed to raise his eyes towards the light for my inspection" (466.

Of the Patwin Indians of California, who are said to rank among the
lowest of the race, Mr. Powers tells us: "Parents are very easygoing
with their children, and never systematically punish them, though they
sometimes strike them in momentary anger. On the Sacramento they teach
them how to swim when a few weeks old by holding them on their hands in
the water. I have seen a father coddle and teeter his baby in an attack
of crossness for an hour with the greatest patience, then carry him down
to the river, laughing good-naturedly, gently dip the little brown
smooth-skinned nugget in the waves clear under, and then lay him on the
moist, warm sand. The treatment was no less effectual than harmless, for
it stopped the perverse, persistent squalling at once" (519. 222). Such
demonstrations of tenderness have been supposed to be rare among the
Indians, but the same authority says again: "Many is the Indian I have
seen tending the baby with far more patience and good-nature than a
civilized father would display" (519. 23). Concerning the Eskimo, Eeclus
observes: "All over Esquimaux Land fathers and mothers vie with one
another in spoiling their offspring, never strike, and rarely rebuke
them" (523. 37).

Among the Indians of British Guiana, according to Mr. im Thurn, both
mother and father are "very affectionate towards the young child." The
mother "almost always, even when working, carries it against her hip,
slung in a small hammock from her neck or shoulder," while the father,
"when he returns from hunting, brings it strange seeds to play with, and
makes it necklaces and other ornaments." The young children themselves
"seem fully to reciprocate the affection of their parents; but as they
grow older, the affection on both sides seems to cool, though, in
reality, it perhaps only becomes less demonstrative" (477. 219).

Everywhere we find evidence of parental affection and love for children,
shining sometimes from the depths of savagery and filling with sunshine
at least a few hours of days that seem so sombre and full of gloom when
viewed afar off.

Mr. Scudder has treated at considerable length the subject of "Childhood
in Literature and Art" (350), dealing with it as found in Greek, Roman,
Hebrew, Early Christian, English, French, German, American, literature,
in mediæval art, and in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. Of Greek
the author observes: "There is scarcely a child's voice to be heard in
the whole range of Greek poetic art. The conception is universally of
the child, not as acting, far less as speaking, but as a passive member
of the social order. It is not its individual so much as its related
life which is contemplated." The silent presence of children in the
rôles of the Greek drama is very impressive (350. 21). At Rome, though
childhood is more of a "vital force" than in Greece, yet "it is not
contemplated as a fine revelation of nature." Sometimes, in its brutal
aspects, "children are reckoned as scarcely more than cubs," yet with
refinement they "come to represent the more spiritual side of the family
life." The folktale of Romulus and Remus and Catullus' picture of the
young Torquatus represent these two poles (350. 32). The scant
appearances of children in the Old Testament, the constant prominence
given to the male succession, are followed later on by the promise which
buds and flowers in the world-child Jesus, and the childhood which is
the new-birth, the golden age of which Jewish seers and prophets had
dreamt. In early Christianity, it would appear that, with the exception
of the representation in art of the child, the infant Christ, "childhood
as an image had largely faded out of art and literature" (350. 80). The
Renaissance "turned its face toward childhood, and looked into that
image for the profoundest realization of its hopes and dreams" (350.
102), and since then Christianity has followed that path. And the folk
were walking in these various ages and among these different peoples
humbly along the same road, which their geniuses travelled. Of the great
modern writers and poets, the author notes especially Wordsworth,
through whom the child was really born in our literature, the linker
together of the child and the race; Rousseau, who told of childhood as
"refuge from present evil, a mournful reminiscence of a lost Paradise,
who (like St. Pierre) preached a return to nature, and left his own
offspring to the tender mercy of a foundling asylum"; Luther, the great
religious reformer, who was ever "a father among his children"; Goethe,
who represents German intellectualism, yet a great child-artist;
Froebel, the patron saint of the kindergarten; Hans Andersen, the
"inventor" of fairy-tales, and the transformer of folk-stories, that
rival the genuine, untouched, inedited article; Hawthorne, the
child-artist of America.



  Heaven lies about us in our infancy.--_Wordsworth_.

  Die Kindheit ist ein Augenblick Gottes.--_Achim v. Arnim_.

  Wahre dir den Kindersinn,
  Kindheit blüht in Liebe bin,
  Kinderzeit ist heil'ge Zeit,
  --_B. Goltz_.

  Happy those early days, when I Shined in my angel infancy.
  --_Henry Vaughan_.

  Childhood shall be all divine.--_B. W. Proctor_.

  But Heaven is kind, and therefore all possess,
  Once in their life, fair Eden's simpleness.--_H. Coleridge_.

  But to the couch where childhood lies,
    A more delicious trance is given,
  Lit up by rays from seraph eyes,
    And glimpses of remembered heaven.--_W. M. Praed_.

    O for boyhood's time of June,
  Crowding years in one brief moon!--_Whittier_.

_Golden Age_.

The English word _world_, as the Anglo-Saxon _weorold_,
Icelandic _veröld_, and Old High German _weralt_ indicate,
signified originally "age of man," or "course of man's life," and in the
mind of the folk the life of the world and the life of man have run
about the same course. By common consent the golden age of both was at
the beginning, _ab ovo_. With Wordsworth, unlettered thousands have

  "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
  But to be young was very heaven!"

_Die Kindheit ist ein Augenblick Gottes_, "childhood is a moment of
God," said Achim Ton Arnim, and Hartley Coleridge expresses the same
idea in other words:--

  "But Heaven is kind, and therefore all possess,
  Once in their life, fair Eden's simpleness."

This belief in the golden age of childhood,--_die heilige
Kinderzeit_, the heaven of infancy,--is ancient and modern,
world-wide, shared in alike by primitive savage and nineteenth-century
philosopher. The peasant of Brittany thinks that children preserve their
primal purity up to the seventh year of their age, and, if they die
before then, go straight to heaven (174. 141), and the great Chinese
philosopher, linking together, as others have done since his time, the
genius and the child, declared that a man is great only as he preserves
the pure ideas of his childhood, while Coleridge, in like fashion tells
us: "Genius is the power of carrying the feelings of childhood into the
power of manhood."

Everywhere we hear the same refrain:--

  "Aus der Jugendzeit, aus der Jugendzeit,
  Klingt ein Lied immerdar;
  O wie liegt so weit, o wie liegt so weit,
  Was mein einst war!"

The Paradise that man lost, the Eden from which he has been driven, is
not the God-planted Garden by the banks of Euphrates, but the "happy
days of angel infancy," and "boyhood's time of June," the childhood out
of which in the fierce struggle--for existence the race has rudely
grown, and back to which, for its true salvation, it must learn to make
its way again. As he, who was at once genius and child, said, nearly
twenty centuries ago: "Except ye turn and become as little children, ye
shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven."

When we speak of "the halcyon days of childhood," we recall an ancient
myth, telling how, in an age when even more than now "all Nature loved a
lover," even the gods watched over the loves of Ceyx and Halcyone. Ever
since the kingfisher has been regarded as the emblem, of lasting
fidelity in love. As Ebers aptly puts it: "Is there anywhere a sweeter
legend than that of the Halcyons, the ice-birds who love each other so
tenderly that, when the male becomes enfeebled by age, his mate carries
him on her outspread wings whithersoever he wills; and the gods desiring
to reward such faithful love cause the sun to shine more kindly, and
still the winds and waves on the 'Halcyon Days' during which these birds
are building their nests and brooding over their young" (390. II. 269).

Of a special paradise for infants, something has been said elsewhere. Of
Srahmanadzi, the other world, the natives of Ashanti say: "There an old
man becomes young, a young man a boy, and a boy an infant. They grow and
become old. But age does not carry with it any diminution of strength or
wasting of body. When they reach the prime of life, they remain so, and
never change more" (438. 157).

The Kalmucks believe that some time in the future "each child will speak
immediately after its birth, and the next day be capable of undertaking
its own management" (518. I. 427). But that blissful day is far off, and
the infant human still needs the overshadowing of the gods to usher him
into the real world of life.

_Guardian Angels and Deities._

Christ, speaking his memorable words about little children to those who
had inquired who was greatest in the kingdom of heaven, uttered the
warning: "See that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say
unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my
Father which is in heaven." In the hagiology of the Christian churches,
and in the folk-lore of modern Europe, the idea contained in our
familiar expression "guardian angel" has a firm hold; by celestial
watchers and protectors the steps of the infant are upheld, and his mind
guided, until he reaches maturity, and even then the guardian spirit
often lingers to guide the favoured being through all the years of his
life (191. 8). The natives of Ashanti believe that special spirits watch
over girls until they are married, and in China there is a special
mother-goddess who guards and protects childhood.

Walter Savage Landor has said:--

  "Around the child bend all the three
  Sweet Graces,--Faith, Hope, Charity,"

and the "three Fates" of classic antiquity, the three Norns of
Scandinavian mythology, the three Sudiêicky or fate-goddesses of the
Czechs of Bohemia, the three fate- and birth-goddesses of the other
Slavonic peoples, the three [Greek: _Moirai_] of Modern Greece, the
three Phatite of Albania, the three white ladies, three virgins, three
Mary's, etc., of German legend of to-day, have woven about them a wealth
of quaint and curious lore (326. I. 42-47).

The survival of the old heathen belief alongside the Christian is often
seen, as, e.g., at Palermo, in Sicily, where "the mother, when she lifts
the child out of the cradle, says aloud: _'Nuome di Dio_, In God's
name,' but quickly adds sotto voce: _'Cu licenzi, signuri mui_, By
your leave, Ladies.'" The reference is to the "three strange ladies,"
representing the three Fates, who preside over the destiny of human

Ploss has discussed at length the goddesses of child-birth and infancy,
and exhibited their relations to the growing, fertilizing, regenerative
powers of nature, especially the earth, sun, moon, etc.; the Hindu
_Bhavani_ (moon-goddess); the Persian _Anahita_; the Assyrian
_Belit_, the spouse of _Bel_; the Phoenician _Astarte_;
the Egyptian _Isis_; the Etruscan _Mater matuta_; the Greek
_Hera Eileithyia, Artemis_,; the Roman _Diana, Lucina, Juno_;
the Phrygian _Cybele_; the Germanic _Freia, Holla, Gude,
Harke_; the Slavonic _Siwa, Libussa, Zlata Baba_ ("the golden
woman"); the ancient Mexican _Itzcuinam, Yohmaltcitl, Tezistecatl_;
the Chibchan rainbow-goddess _Cuchavira_; the Japanese _Kojasi
Kwanon_, and hundreds more.

The number of gods and goddesses presiding over motherhood and childhood
is legion; in every land divine beings hover about the infant human to
protect it and assure the perpetuity of the race. In ancient Rome,
besides the divinities who were connected with generation, the embryo,
etc., we find, among others, the following tutelary deities of

_Parca_ or _Partula_, the goddess of child-birth;
_Diespiter_, the god who brings the infant to the light of day;
_Opis_, the divinity who takes the infant from within the bosom of
mother-earth; _Vaticanus_, the god who opens the child's mouth in
crying; _Cunina_, the protectress of the cradle and its contents;
_Rumina_, the goddess of the teat or breast; _Ossipaga_, the
goddess who hardens and solidifies the bones of little children;
_Carna_, the goddess who strengthens the flesh of little children;
_Diva potina_, the goddess of the drink of children; _Diva
edusa_, the goddess of the food of children; _Cuba_, the goddess
of the sleep of the child; _Levana_, the goddess who lifts the
child from the earth; _Statanus_, the god, and _Dea Statina_,
the goddess, of the child's standing; _Fabulinus_, the god of the
child's speech; _Abeona_ and _Adiona_, the protectresses of
the child in its goings out and its comings in; _Deus catus pater_,
the father-god who "sharpens" the wits of children; _Dea mens_, the
goddess of the child's mind; _Minerva_, the goddess who is the
giver of memory to the child; _Numeria_, the goddess who teaches
the child to count; _Voleta_, the goddess, and _Volumnus_ the
god, of will or wishing; _Venilia_, the goddess of hope, of "things
to come"; _Deus conus_, the god of counsel, the counsel-giver;
_Peragenor_ or _Agenona_, the deity of the child's action;
_Camœna_, the goddess who teaches the child to sing, etc.

Here the child is overshadowed, watched over, taught and instructed by
the heavenly powers:--

  "But to the couch where childhood lies
    A more delicious trance is given,
  Lit up by rays from seraph eyes,
    And glimpses of remembered heaven."

In line with the poet's thought, though of a ruder mould, is the belief
of the Iroquois Indians recorded by Mrs. Smith: "When a living nursing
child is taken out at night, the mother takes a pinch of white ashes and
rubs it on the face of the child so that the spirits will not trouble,
because they say that a child still continues to hold intercourse with
the spirit-world whence it so recently came" (534. 69).


President Hall has treated of "The Contents of Children's Minds on
Entering School" (252), but we yet lack a like elaborate and suggestive
study of "The Contents of Parents' Minds on Entering the Nursery." We
owe to the excellent investigation carried on by Principal Russell and
his colleagues at the State Normal School in Worcester, Mass., "Some
Records of the Thoughts and Reasonings of Children" (194), and President
Hall has written about "Children's Lies" (252a), but we are still
without a correspondingly accurate and extensive compilation of "The
Thoughts and Reasonings of Parents," and a plain, unbiassed register of
the "white lies" and equivoques, the fictions and epigrammatic myths,
with which parents are wont to answer, or attempt to answer, the
manifold questions of their tender offspring. From time immemorial the
communication between parent (and nurse) and child, between the old of
both sexes and little children, far from being yea and nay, has been
cast in the mould of the advice given in the German quatrain:--

 "Ja haltet die Aequivocabula nur fest,
  Sind sie doch das einzige Mittel,
  Dem Kind die Wahrheit zu bergen und doch
  Zu brauchen den richtigen Titel."

  ["Hold fast to the words that we equivoques call;
  For they are indeed the only safe way
  To keep from the children the truth away,
  Yet use the right name after all."]

Around the birth of man centres a great cycle of fiction and myth. The
folk-lore respecting the provenience of children may be divided into two
categories. The first is represented by our "the doctor brought it,"
"God sent it," and the "van Moor" of the peasantry of North Friesland,
which may signify either "from the moor," or "from mother." The second
consists of renascent myths of bygone ages, distorted, sometimes, it is
true, and recast. As men, in the dim, prehistoric past, ascribed to
their first progenitors a celestial, a terrestrial, a subterranean, a
subaqueous origin, a coming into being from animals, birds, insects,
trees, plants, rocks, stones, etc.,--for all were then akin,--so, after
long centuries have rolled by, father, mother, nurse, older brother or
sister, speaking of the little one in whom they see their stock renewed,
or their kinship widened, resurrect and regild the old fables and
rejuvenate and reanimate the lore that lay sunk beneath the threshold of
racial consciousness. Once more "the child is father of the man"; his
course begins from that same spring whence the first races of men had
their remotest origins. George Macdonald, in the first lines of his poem
on "Baby" (337. 182):--

  "Where did you come from, baby dear?
  Out of the _everywhere_ into here,"

has expressed a truth of folk-lore, for there is scarcely a place in the
"everywhere" whence the children have not been fabled to come. Children
are said to come from heaven (Germany, England, America, etc.); from the
sea (Denmark); from lakes, ponds, rivers (Germany, Austria, Japan); from
moors and sand-hills (northeastern Germany); from gardens (China); from
under the cabbage-leaves (Brittany, Alsace), or the parsley-bed
(England); from sacred or hollow trees, such as the ash, linden, beech,
oak, etc. (Germany, Austria); from inside or from underneath rocks and
stones (northeastern Germany, Switzerland, Bohemia, etc.). It is worthy
of note how the topography of the country, its physiographic character,
affects these beliefs, which change with hill and plain, with moor and
meadow, seashore and inland district. The details of these birth-myths
may be read in Ploss (326. I. 2), Schell (343), Sundermann (366).
Specially interesting are the _Kindersee_ ("child-lake"),
_Kinderbaum_ ("child-tree"), and _Kinderbrunnen_
("child-fountain") of the Teutonic lands,--offering analogies with the
"Tree of Life" and the "Fountain of Eternal Youth" of other ages and
peoples; the _Titistein_, or "little children's stone," and the
_Kindertruog_ ("child's trough") of Switzerland, and the
"stork-stones" of North Germany.

Dr. Haas, in his interesting little volume of folk-lore from the island
of Rügen, in the Baltic, records some curious tales about the birth of
children. The following practice of the children in that portion of
Germany is significant: "Little white and black smooth stones, found on
the shore, are called 'stork-stones.' These the children are wont to
throw backwards over their heads, asking, at the same time, the stork to
bring them a little brother or sister" (466 a. 144). This recalls
vividly the old Greek deluge-myth, in which we are told, that, after the
Flood, Deucalion was ordered to cast behind him the "bones of his
mother." This he interpreted to mean the "stones," which seemed, as it
were, the "bones" of "mother-earth." So he and his wife Pyrrha picked up
some stones from the ground and cast them over their shoulders,
whereupon those thrown by Deucalion became men, those thrown by Pyrrha,
women. Here belongs, also, perhaps, the Wallachian custom, mentioned by
Mr. Sessions (who thinks it was "probably to keep evil spirits away"),
in accordance with which "when a child is born every one present throws
a stone behind him."

On the island of Rügen erratic blocks on the seashore are called
_Adeborsteine_, "stork-stones," and on such a rock or boulder near
Wrek in Wittow, Dr. Haas says "the stork is said to dry the little
children, after he has fetched them out of the sea, before he brings
them to the mothers. The latter point out these blocks to their little
sons and daughters, telling them how once they were laid upon them by
the stork to get dry." The great blocks of granite that lie scattered on
the coast of Jasmund are termed _Schwansteine_, "swan-stones," and,
according to nursery-legend, the children to be born are shut up in
them. When a sister or brother asks: "Where did the little
_swan-child_"--for so babies are called--"come from?" the mother
replies: "From the swan-stone. It was opened with a key, and a little
swan-child taken out." The term "swan-child" is general in this region,
and Dr. Haas is inclined to think that the swan-myth is older than the
stork-myth (466 a. 143, 144).

Curious indeed is the belief of the Hidatsa Indians, as reported by Dr.
Matthews, in the "Makadistati, or house of infants." This is described
as "a cavern near Knife River, which, they supposed, extended far into
the earth, but whose entrance was only a span wide. It was resorted to
by the childless husband or the barren wife. There are those among them
who imagine that in some way or other their children come from the
Makadistati; and marks of contusion on an infant, arising from tight
swaddling or other causes, are gravely attributed to kicks received from
his former comrades when he was ejected from his subterranean home"
(433. 516).

In Hesse, Germany, there is a children's song (326. I. 9):--

  Bimbam, Glöckchen,
  Da unten steht ein Stöckchen,
  Da oben steht ein golden Haus,
  Da gucken viele schöne Kinder raus.

The current belief in that part of Europe is that "unborn children live
in a very beautiful dwelling, for so long as children are no year old
and have not yet looked into a mirror, everything that comes before
their eyes appears to be gold." Here folk-thought makes the beginnings
of human life a real golden age. They are Midases of the eye, not of the

_Children's Questions and Parents' Answers._

Another interesting class of "parents' lies" consists in the replies to,
or comments upon, the questionings and remarks of children about the
ordinary affairs of life. The following examples, selected from
Dirksen's studies of East-Frisian Proverbs, will serve to indicate the
general nature and extent of these.

1. When a little child says, "I am hungry," the mother sometimes
answers, "Eat some salt, and then you will be thirsty, too."

2. When a child, seeing its mother drink tea or coffee, says, "I'm
thirsty," the answer may be, "If you're thirsty, go to Jack ter Host;
there's a cow in the stall, go sit under it and drink." Some of the
variants of this locution are expressed in very coarse language (431. I.

3. If a child asks, when it sees that its parent is going out, "Am I not
going, too?" the answer is, "You are going along, where nobody has gone,
to Poodle's wedding," or "You are going along on Stay-here's cart." A
third locution is, "You are going along to the Kükendell fair"
(Kükendell being a part of Meiderich, where a fair has never been held).
In Oldenburg the answer is: "You shall go along on Jack-stay-at-home's
(Janblievtohûs) cart." Sometimes the child is quieted by being told,
"I'll bring you back a little silver nothing (enn silwer Nickske)" (431.
I. 33).

4. If, when he is given a slice of bread, he asks for a thinner one, the
mother may remark, "Thick pieces make fat bodies" (431. I. 35).

5. When some one says in the hearing of the father or mother of a child
that it ought not to have a certain apple, a certain article of
clothing, or the like, the answer is, "That is no illegitimate child."
The locution is based upon the fact that illegitimate children do not
enjoy the same rights and privileges as those born in wedlock (431. I.

6. Of children's toys and playthings it is sometimes said, when they are
very fragile, "They will last from twelve o'clock till midday"

7. When any one praises her child in the presence of the mother, the
latter says, "It's a good child when asleep" (431. I. 51).

8. In the winter-time, when the child asks its mother for an apple, the
latter may reply, "the apples are piping in the tree," meaning that
there are no longer any apples on the tree, but the sparrows are sitting
there, crying and lamenting. In Meiderich the locution is "Apples have
golden stems," _i.e._ they are rare and dear in winter-time (431.
I. 75).

9. When the child says, "I can't sit down," the mother may remark, "Come
and sit on my thumb; nobody has ever fallen off it" (_i.e._ because
no one has ever tried to sit on it) (431. I. 92).

10. When a lazy child, about to be sent out upon an errand, protests
that it does not know where the person to whom the message is to be sent
lives, and consequently cannot do the errand, the mother remarks
threateningly, "I'll show where Abraham ground the mustard," _i.e._
"I give you a good thrashing, till the tears come into your eyes (as
when grinding mustard)" (431. I. 105).

11. When a child complains that a sister or brother has done something
to hurt him, the mother's answer is, "Look out! He shall have water in
the cabbage, and go barefoot to bed" (431. I. 106).

12. Sometimes their parents or elders turn to children and ask them "if
they would like to be shown the Bremen geese." If the child says yes, he
is seized by the ears and head with both hands and lifted off the
ground. In some parts of Germany this is called "showing Rome," and
there are variants of the practice in other lands (431. II. 14).

13. When a child complains of a sore in its eye, or on its neck, the
answer is: "That will get well before you are a great-grandmother" (431.
II. 50).

14. When one child asks for one thing and another for something else,
the mother exclaims petulantly, "One calls out 'lime,' the other
'stones.'" The reference is to the confusion of tongues at Babel, which
is assumed to have been of such a nature that one man would call out
"lime," and another "stones" (431. II. 53).

15. When a child asks for half a slice of bread instead of a whole one,
the mother may say, "Who doesn't like a whole, doesn't like a half
either" (431. II. 43).

16. When a child says, "That is my place, I sat there," the reply is,
"You have no place; your place is in the churchyard" (_i.e._ a
grave) (431. II. 76).

When the child says "I will," the mother says threateningly, "Your
'will' is in your mother's pocket." It is in her pocket that she carries
the rope for whipping the child. Another locution is, "Your will is in
the corner" (_i.e._ the corner of the room in which stands the
broomstick) (431. II. 81).

These specimens of the interchange of courtesies between the child and
its parent or nurse might be paralleled from our own language; indeed,
many of the correspondences will suggest themselves at once. The deceits
practised in the Golden Age of childhood resemble those practised by the
gods in the Golden Age of the world, when divine beings walked the earth
and had intercourse with the sons and daughters of men.

"_Painted Devils_."

Even as the serpent marred the Eden of which the sacred legends of the
Semites tell, so in the folk-thought does some evil sprite or phantom
ever and anon intrude itself in the Paradise of childhood and seek its

Shakespeare has well said:--

 "Tis the eye of childhood
  That fears a painted devil,"

and the chronicle of the "painted devils," bogies, scarecrows, _et id
genus omne_, is a long one, whose many chapters may be read in Ploss,
Hartland, Henderson, Gregor, etc. Some of the "devils" are mild and
almost gentlemen, like their lord and master at times; others are
fierce, cruel, and bloodthirsty; their number is almost infinite, and
they have the forms of women as well as of men.

Over a large portion of western Europe is found the nursery story of the
"Sand-Man," who causes children to become drowsy and sleepy; "the
sand-man is coming, the sand-man has put dust in your eyes," are some of
the sayings in use. By and by the child gets "so fast asleep that one
eye does not see the other," as the Frisian proverb puts it. When, on a
cold winter day, her little boy would go out without his warm mittens
on, the East Frisian mother says, warningly: _De Fingerbiter is
buten_, "the Finger-biter is outside."

Among the formidable evil spirits who war against or torment the child
and its mother are the Hebrew Lilith, the long-haired night-flier; the
Greek _Strigalai_, old and ugly owl-women; the Roman
_Caprimulgus_, the nightly goat-milker and child-killer, and the
wood-god Silvanus; the Coptic _Berselia_; the Hungarian
"water-man," or "water-woman," who changes children for criples or
demons; the Moravian _Vestice_, or "wild woman," able to take the
form of any animal, who steals away children at the breast, and
substitutes changelings for them; the Bohemian _Polednice_, or
"noon-lady," who roams around only at noon, and substitutes changelings
for real children; the Lithuanian and Old Prussian _Laume_, a
child-stealer, whose breast is the thunderbolt, and whose girdle is the
rainbow; the Servian _Wjeschtitza_, or witches, who take on the
form of an insect, and eat up children at night; the Russian "midnight
spirit," who robs children of rest and sleep; the Wendish "Old
mountain-woman"; the German (Brunswick) "corn-woman," who makes off with
little children looking for flowers in the fields; the Röggenmuhme (
"rye-aunt"), the _Tremsemutter_, who walks about in the cornfields;
the _Katzenveit_, a wood spirit, and a score of bogies called
_Popel, Popelmann, Popanz, Butz_, etc.; the Scotch "Boo Man,"
"Bogie Man," "Jenny wi' the Airn Teeth," "Jenny wi' the lang Pock "; the
English and American bogies, goblins, ogres, ogresses, witches, and the
like; besides, common to all peoples, a host of werwolves and vampires,
giants and dwarfs, witches, ogres, ogresses, fairies, evil spirits of
air, water, land, inimical to childhood and destructive of its peace and
enjoyment. The names, lineage, and exploits of these may be read in
Ploss, Grimm, Hartland, etc.

In the time of the Crusades, Richard Cœur de Lion, the hero-king of
England, became so renowned among the Saracens that (Gibbon informs us)
his name was used by mothers and nurses to quiet their infants, and
other historical characters before and after him served to like purpose.
To the children of Rome in her later days, Attila, the great Hun, was
such a bogy, as was Narses, the Byzantian general (d. 568 A.D.), to the
Assyrian children. Bogies also were Matthias Corvinus (d. 1490 A.D.),
the Hungarian king and general, to the Turks; Tamerlane (Timur), the
great Mongolian conqueror (d. 1405 A.D.), to the Persians; and
Bonaparte, at the close of the eighteenth and the beginning of the
nineteenth century, in various parts of the continent of Europe. These,
and other historical characters have, in part, taken the place of the
giants and bogies of old, some of whom, however, linger, even yet, in
the highest civilizations, together with fabulous animals (reminiscent
of stern reality in primitive times), with which, less seriously than in
the lands of the eastern world, childhood is threatened and cowed into

The Ponka Indian mothers tell their children that if they do not behave
themselves the Indaciñga (a hairy monster shaped like a human being,
that hoots like an owl) will get them; the Omaha bogy is Icibaji; a
Dakota child-stealer and bogy is Añungite or "Two Faces" (433. 386,
473). With the Kootenay Indians, of south-eastern British Columbia, the
owl is the bogy with which children are frightened into good behaviour,
the common saying of mothers, when their children are troublesome,
being, "If you are not quiet, I'll give you to the owl" (203).
Longfellow, in his _Hiawatha_, speaks of one of the bogies of the
eastern Indians:--

 "Thus the wrinkled old Nokomis
  Nursed the little Hiawatha,
  Rooked him in his linden cradle,
  Stilled his fretful wail by saying,
  'Hush! the naked bear will get thee!'"

Among the Nipissing Algonkian Indians, _koko_ is a child-word for
any terrible being; the mothers say to their children, "beware of the
_koko_." Champlain and Lescarbot, the early chroniclers of Canada,
mention a terrible creature (concerning which tales were told to
frighten children) called _gougou_, supposed to dwell on an island
in the Baie des Chaleurs (200. 239). Among the bogies of the Mayas of
Yucatan, Dr. Brinton mentions: the _balams_ (giant beings of the
night), who carry off children; the _culcalkin_, or "neckless
priest"; besides giants and witches galore (411. 174, 177).

Among the Gualala Indians of California, we find the "devil-dance,"
which Powers compares to the _haberfeldtreiben_ of the Bavarian
peasants,--an institution got up for the purpose of frightening the
women and children, and keeping them in order. While the ordinary dances
are going on, there suddenly stalks forth "an ugly apparition in the
shape of a man, wearing a feather mantle on his back, reaching from the
arm-pits down to the mid-thighs, zebra-painted on his breast and legs
with black stripes, bear-skin shako on his head, and his arms stretched
out at full length along a staff passing behind his neck. Accoutred in
this harlequin rig, he dashes at the squaws, capering, dancing,
whooping; and they and the children flee for life, keeping several
hundred yards between him and themselves." It is believed that, if they
were even to touch his stick, their children would die (519. 194).

Among the Patwin, Nishinam, and Pomo Indians, somewhat similar practices
are in vogue (519. 157, 160, 225). From the golden age of childhood,
with its divinities and its demons, we may now pass to the consideration
of more special topics concerning the young of the races of men.



  Der Mensch ist, was er isst.--_Feuerbach_.

  For he on honey-dew hath fed,
  And drunk the milk of Paradise.--_Coleridge_.

  Man did eat angels' food.--_Psalm_ ixxviii. 25.


_Der Mensch ist, was er isst_,--"man is what he eats,"--says
Feuerbach, and there were food-philosophies long before his time. Among
primitive peoples, the food of the child often smacks of the Golden Age.
Tennyson, in _Eleanore_, sings:--

 "Or, the yellow-banded bees,
  Through half-open lattices
  Coming in the scented breeze,
  Fed thee, a child lying alone,
  With white honey, in fairy gardens cull'd--
  A glorious child dreaming alone,
  In silk-soft folds, upon yielding down,
  With the hum of swarming bees
  Into dreamful slumber lull'd."

This recalls the story of Cretan Zeus, fed, when an infant, by the
nymphs in a cave on Mount Ida with the milk of the goat Amalthæa and
honey brought by the bees of the mountain.

In the sacred books of the ancient Hindus we read: "The father puts his
mouth to the right ear of the new-born babe, and murmurs three times,
'Speech! Speech!' Then he gives it a name. Then he mixes clotted milk,
honey, and butter, and feeds the babe with it out of pure gold"
(460.129). Among the ancient Frisians and some other Germanic tribes,
the father had the right to put to death or expose his child so long as
it had not taken food; but "so soon as the infant had drunk milk and
eaten honey he could not be put to death by his parents" (286. 69). The
custom of giving the new-born child honey to taste is referred to in
German counting-out rhymes, and the ancient Germans used to rub honey in
the mouth of the new-born child. The heathen Czechs used to drop honey
upon the child's lips, and in the Eastern Church it was formerly the
custom to give the baptized child milk and honey to taste (392. II. 35).
When the Jewish child, in the Middle Ages, first went to school, one of
the ceremonial observances was to have him lick a slate which had been
smeared with honey, and upon which the alphabet, two Bible verses, and
the words "The Tora shall be my calling" were written; this custom is
interestingly explanative of the passage in Ezekiel (iii. 3) where we
read "Then I did eat it [the roll of a book given the prophet by God];
and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness." There were also given to
the child sweet cakes upon which Bible verses were written. Among the
Jews of Galicia, before a babe is placed in the cradle for the first
time, it is customary to strew into the latter little pieces of
honey-comb. Among the Wotjaks we find the curious belief that those who,
in eating honey, do not smear their mouth and hands with it, will die.
With children of an older growth,--the second Golden Age,--honey and
cakes again appear. Magyar maidens at the new moon steal honey and
cakes, cook them, and mix a part in the food of the youth of their
desires; among the White Russians, the bridal couple are fed honey with
a spoon. Even with us "the first sweet month of matrimony," after the
"bless you, my children" has been spoken by parents, church, and state,
is called the "honey-moon," for our Teutonic ancestors were in the habit
of drinking honey-wine or mead for the space of thirty days after
marriage (392. IV. 118,211). In wedding-feasts the honey appears again,
and, as Westermarck observes, the meal partaken of by the bride and
bridegroom practically constitutes the marriage-ceremony among the
Navajos, Santal, Malays, Hovas, and other primitive peoples (166. 419).

In Iceland, in ancient times, "the food of sucklings was sweetened by
honey," and "in the mouths of weakly children a slice of meat was placed
at which they sucked." Among other interesting items from Scandinavia,
Ploss (326. II. 182) gives the following: "In Iceland, if the child has
been suckled eight (at most, fourteen) days, it is henceforth placed
upon the ground; near it is put a vessel with luke-warm whey, in which a
reed or a quill is stuck, and a little bread placed before it. If the
child should wake and show signs of hunger, he is turned towards the
vessel, and the reed is placed in his mouth. When the child is nine
months old, it must eat of the same food as its parents do."

In Shropshire, England, the first food given a child is a spoonful of
sugar and butter, and, in the Highlands of Scotland, "at the birth of an
infant the nurse takes a green stick of ash, one end of which she puts
into the fire, and, while it is burning, receives in a spoon the sap
that oozes from the other, which she administers to the child as its
first food." This recalls the sap of the sacred ash of Scandinavian
mythology. Solinus states that the ancient Irish mother "put the first
food of her newborn son on the sword of her husband, and, lightly
introducing it into his mouth, expressed a wish that he might never meet
death otherwise than in war and amid arms," and a like custom is said
"to have been kept up, prior to the union, in Annandale and other places
along the Scottish border" (460. 129, 131).


Among the Negritos of the Philippine Islands, when a child is born, one
of the other children immediately gives it to eat some salt on the point
of a knife (326. I. 258). The virtues of salt are recognized among many
peoples. In the Middle Ages, when mothers abandoned their infants, they
used to place beside them a little salt in token that they were
unbaptized (326. I. 284); in Scotland, where the new-born babe is
"bathed in salted water, and made to taste it three times, because the
water was strengthening and also obnoxious to a person with the evil
eye," the lady of the house first visited by the mother and child must,
with the recital of a charm, put some salt in the little one's mouth. In
Brabant, during the baptismal ceremony, the priest consecrates salt,
given him by the father, and then puts a grain into the child's mouth,
the rest being carefully kept by the father. The great importance of
salt in the ceremonies of the Zuñi and related Indians of the Pueblos
has been pointed out by Mr. Gushing.

Salt appears also at modern European wedding-feasts and prenuptial
rites, as do also rice and meal, which are also among the first foods of
some primitive races. Among the Badagas of the Nilgiri Hills, when the
child is named (from twenty to thirty days after birth), the maternal
uncle places three small bits of rice in its mouth (326. I. 284).


Among the Tlingit Indians, of Alaska, the new-born infant "is not given
the breast until all the contents of its stomach (which are considered
the cause of disease) are removed by vomiting, which is promoted by
pressing the stomach" (403. 40), and among the Hare Indians, "the infant
is not allowed food until four days after birth, in order to accustom it
to fasting in the next world" (396. I. 121). The Songish Indians do not
give the child anything to eat on the first day (404. 20); the Kolosh
Indians, of Alaska, after ten to thirty months "accustom their children
to the taste of a sea-animal," and, among the Arctic Eskimo, Kane found
"children, who could not yet speak, devouring with horrible greediness,
great lumps of walrus fat and flesh." Klutschak tells us how, during a
famine, the Eskimo of Hudson's Bay melted and boiled for the children
the blood-soaked snow from the spot where a walrus had been killed and
cut up (326. II. 181).

In Culdaff, in the county of Donegal, Ireland, "an infant at its birth
is forced to swallow spirits, and is immediately afterwards [strange
anticipation of Dr. Robinson] suspended by the upper jaw on the nurse's
forefinger. Whiskey is here the representative of the Hindu sôma, the
sacred juice of the ash, etc., and the administration of alcoholic
liquors to children of a tender age in sickness and disease so common
everywhere but a few years ago, founded itself perhaps more upon this
ancient belief than upon anything else" (401. 180).

The study of the food of sick children is an interesting one, and much
of value may be read of it in Zanetti (173), Black (401), and other
writers who have treated of folk-medicine. The decoctions of plants and
herbs, the preparations of insects, reptiles, the flesh, blood, and
ordure of all sorts of beasts (and of man), which the doctrines of
signatures and sympathies, the craze of _similia similibus_, forced
down the throat of the child, in the way of food and medicine, are
legion in number, and must be read in Folkard and the herbalists, in
Bourke (407), Strack, etc.

In some parts of the United States even snail-water and snail-soup are
not unknown; in New England, as Mrs. Earle informs us (221. 6), much was
once thought of "the admirable and most famous snail-water."

_Milk and Honey_.

As we have abundantly seen, the first food of the child is the "food of
the gods," for so were honey and milk esteemed among the ancient
Germans, Greeks, Slavs, Hindus, etc., and of the Paradise where dwelt
the Gods, and into which it was fabled children were born, we have some
recollection, as Ploss suggests, in the familiar "land flowing with milk
and honey," into the possession of which the children of Israel entered
after their long wandering in the wilderness (462. II. 696). Of the
ancient Hindu god Agni, Letourneau (100. 315) observes: "After being for
a long time fed upon melted butter and the alcoholic liquor from the
acid asclepias, the sacred Sôma, he first became a glorious child, then
a metaphysical divinity, a mediator living in the fathers and living
again in the sons." It was the divine _Sôma_ that, like the nectar
of the Greeks, the elixirs of the Scandinavians, conferred youth and
immortality upon those who drank it.

According to Moslem legend, after his birth, Abraham "remained concealed
in a cave during fifteen months, and his mother visited him sometimes to
nurse him. But he had no need of her food, for Allah commanded water to
flow from one of Abraham's fingers, milk from another, honey from the
third, the juice of dates from the fourth, and butter from the fifth"
(547. 69).


In the _Gesta Romanorum_ (Cap. XI.) we read of the "Queen of the
North," who "nourished her daughter from the cradle upon a certain kind
of deadly poison; and when she grew up, she was considered so beautiful,
that the sight of her alone affected one with madness." Moreover, her
whole nature had become so imbued with poisons that "she herself had
become the deadliest poison in existence. Poison was her element of
life. With that rich perfume of her breath she blasted the very air. Her
love would have been poison, her embrace death." Hawthorne's story of
"Rappaccini's Daughter,"--"who ever since infancy had grown and
blossomed with the plants whose fatal properties she had imbibed with
the air she breathed,"--comes from the same original source (390. II.
172). Here we are taken back again to the Golden Age, when even poisons
could be eaten without harm.

_Priest and Food_.

With the giving of the child's food the priest is often associated. In
the Fiji Islands, at Vitilevu, on the day when the navel-string falls
off, a festival is held, and the food of the child is blest by the
priest with prayers for his life and prosperity. In Upper Egypt, a feast
is held at the house of the father and the child consecrated by the cadi
or a priest, to whom is brought a plate with sugar-candy. The priest
chews the candy and lets the sweet juice fall out of his mouth into that
of the child, and thus "gives him his name out of his mouth" (326. I.

The over-indulgence of children in food finds parallels at a later
period of life, when, as with the people of southern Nubia and the
Sahara between Talifet and Timbuktu, men fatten girls before marriage,
making them consume huge quantities of milk, butter, etc.

For children, among many primitive peoples, there are numerous
_taboos_ of certain classes and kinds of food, from religious or
superstitious motives. This _taboo_-system has not lost all its
force even to-day, as no other excuse can reasonably be offered for the
refusal of certain harmless food to the young.


Concerning certain Australian tribes, Lumholtz remarks: "Before the
children are big enough to hold a pipe in their mouth they are permitted
to smoke, and the mother will share her pipe with the nursing babe"
(495. 193). In like manner, among the natives of the Solomon Islands,
Mr. Guppy witnessed displays of precocity in this regard:
"Bright-looking lads, eight or nine years of age, stood smoking their
pipes as gravely as Haununo [a chief] himself; and even the smallest
babe in its father's arms caught hold of his pipe and began to suck
instinctively" (466.42). With the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador, according
to Simson, the child, when three or four years old, is initiated into
the mysteries of tobacco-smoking, amid great festivities and ceremonies
(533. 388).

_Drink of Immortality_.

Feeding the dead has been in practice among many primitive peoples. The
mother, with some of the Indian tribes of New Mexico, used to drop milk
from her breast on the lips of her dead babe; and in many parts of the
world we meet with the custom of placing food near the grave, so that
the spirits may not hunger, or of placing it in the grave or coffin, so
that on its way to the spirit-land the soul of the deceased may partake
of some refreshment. Among the ancient natives of Venezuela, "infants
who died a few days after their birth, were seated around the Tree of
Milk, or Celestial Tree, that distilled milk from the extremity of its
branches"; and kindred beliefs are found elsewhere (448. 297).

We have also the tree associated beautifully with the newborn child, as
Reclus records concerning the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills, in India:
"Immediately the deliverance has taken place--it always happens in the
open air--three leaves of the aforementioned tree [under which the
mother and father have passed the night] are presented to the father,
who, making cups of them, pours a few drops of water into the first,
wherewith he moistens his lips; the remainder he decants into the two
other leaves; the mother drinks her share, and causes the baby to
swallow his. Thus, father, mother, and child, earliest of Trinities,
celebrate their first communion, and drink the living water, more sacred
than wine, from the leaves of the Tree of Life" (523. 201).

The sacred books of the Hebrews tell us that the race of man in its
infancy became like the gods by eating of the fruit of the tree of
knowledge, and in the legends of other peoples immortality came to the
great heroes by drinking of the divine sap of the sacred tree, or
partaking of some of its fruit. The ancient Egyptians believed that milk
from the breast of the divine mother Isis conferred divinity and
immortality upon him who drank of it or imbibed it from the sacred
source. Wiedemann aptly compares with this the Greek story of the
infancy of Hercules. The great child-hero was the son of the god Jupiter
and Alcmena, daughter of Electryon, King of Argos. He was exposed by his
mother, but the goddess Athene persuaded Hera to give him her breast
(another version says Hermes placed Hercules on the breast of Hera,
while she slept) and the infant Hercules drew so lustily of the milk
that he caused pain to the goddess, who snatched him away. But Hercules
had drunk of the milk of a goddess and had become immortal, and as one
of the gods (167. 266).



  The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
  Hath elsewhere its setting,
  And cometh from afar.--_Wordsworth_.

  And rest at last where souls unbodied dwell
  In ever-flowing meads of Asphodel.
  --_Homer (Pope's Transl_.).


With certain Hindu castes, the new-born child is sprinkled with cold
water, "in order that the soul, which, since its last existence, has
remained in a condition of dreamy contemplation, may be brought to the
consciousness that it has to go through a new period of trial in this
corporeal world" (326. II. 13). Perhaps, among the myriad rites and
ceremonies of immersion and sprinkling to which the infant is submitted
with other primitive peoples, some traces of similar beliefs may be

When the new world-religion was winning its way among the gentiles,
baptism was the great barrier erected between the babe and the power of
ill, spirits of air, earth, and water, survivals of old heathenism
antagonistic to Christianity. Before that holy rite was performed, the
child lay exposed to all their machinations. Baptism was the armour of
the infant against the assaults of Satan and his angels, against the
cunning of the wanderers from elfin-land, the fairy-sprites, with their
changelings and their impish tricks.

Hence, the souls of still-born and unbaptized children came into the
power of these evil ones and were metamorphosed into insects, birds,
beasts, and the like, whose peculiar notes and voices betray them as
having once been little children, or were compelled to join, the train
of the wild huntsman, or mingle in the retinue of some other outcast,
wandering sprite or devil; or, again, as some deceitful star, or
will-o'-the-wisp, mislead and torment the traveller on moor and in bog
and swamp, and guide him to an untimely death amid desert solitudes.
Ploss, Henderson, and Swainson have a good deal to say on the subject of
Frau Berctha and her train, the Wild Huntsman, the "Gabble Retchet,"
"Yeth Hounds," etc. Mr. Henderson tells us that, "in North Devon the
local name is 'yeth hounds,' _heath_ and _heathen_ being both
'yeth' in the North Devon dialect. Unbaptized infants are there buried
in a part of the churchyard set apart for the purpose called
'Chrycimers,' i.e. Christianless, hill, and the belief seems to be that
their spirits, having no admittance into Paradise, unite in a pack of
'Heathen' or 'yeth' hounds, and hunt the Evil One, to whom they ascribe
their unhappy condition" (469. 131, 132). The prejudice against
unbaptized children lingers yet elsewhere, as the following extract from
a newspaper published in the year 1882 seems to indicate (230. 272):--

"There is in the island of Mull a little burial-ground entirely devoted
to unbaptized children, who were thus severed in the grave from those
who had been interred in the hope of resurrection to life. Only one
adult lies with the little babes--an old Christian woman--whose last
dying request it was that she should be buried with the unbaptized
children." The Rev. Mr. Thorn has given the facts poetic form and made
immortal that mother-heart whose love made holy--if hallowed it needed
to be--the lonely burial-ground where rest the infant outcasts:--

  "A spot that seems to bear a ban,
  As if by curse defiled:
  No mother lies there with her babe,
  No father by his child."

Among primitive peoples we find a like prejudice against still-born
children and children who die very young. The natives of the Highlands
of Borneo think that still-born infants go to a special spirit-land
called _Tenyn lallu_, and "the spirits of these children are
believed to be very brave and to require no weapon other than a stick to
defend themselves against their enemies. The reason given for this idea
is, that the child has never felt pain in this world and is therefore
very daring in the other" (475. 199). In Annam the spirits of children
still-born and of those dying in infancy are held in great fear. These
spirits, called _Con Ranh_, or _Con Lôn_ (from _lôn_, "to
enter into life"), are ever seeking "to incorporate themselves in the
bodies of others, though, after so doing, they are incapable of life."
Moreover, "their names are not mentioned in the presence of women, for
it is feared they might take to these, and a newly-married woman is in
like manner afraid to take anything from a woman, or to wear any of the
clothing of one, who has had such a child. Special measures are
necessary to get rid of the _Con Ranh_" (397. 18-19). The Alfurus,
of the Moluccas, "bury children up to their waists and expose them to
all the tortures of thirst until they wrench from them the promise to
hurl themselves upon the enemies of the village. Then they take them
out, but only to kill them on the spot, imagining that the spirits of
the victims will respect their last promise" (388. 81). On the other
hand, Callaway informs us that the Zulu diviner may divine by the
_Amatongo_ (spirit) of infants, "supposed to be mild and
beneficent" (417. 176).


Wordsworth, in that immortal poem, which belongs to the jewels of the
treasure-house of childhood, has sung of the birth of man:--

  "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
  The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
  Hath had elsewhere its setting,
  And cometh from afar.
  Not in entire forgetfulness,
  And not in utter nakedness,
  But, trailing clouds of glory, do we come
  From God, who is our home:
  Heaven lies about us in our infancy,"--

and the humbler bards of many an age, whose names have perished with
the races that produced them, have thought and sung of soul-incarnation,
metempsychosis, transmigration, and kindred concepts, in a thousand
different ways. In their strangely poetical language, the Tupi Indians,
of Brazil, term a child _pitanga_, "suck soul," from _piter_,
"to suck," _anga_, "soul." The Seminole Indians, of Florida, "held
the baby over the face of the woman dying in child-birth, so that it
might receive her parting spirit" (409. 271). A similar practice (with
the father) is reported from Polynesia. In a recently published work on
"Souls," by Mrs. Mary Ailing Aber, we read:--

"Two-thirds of all the babies that are born in civilized lands to-day
have no souls attached to them. These babies are emanations from their
parents,--not true entities; and, unless a soul attaches itself, no
ordinary efforts can carry one of them to the twentieth year. Souls do
attach themselves to babies after birth sometimes so late as the third
year. On the other hand, babies who have souls at birth sometimes lose
them because the soul finds a better place, or is drawn away by a
stronger influence; but this rarely occurs after the third year."

This somewhat _outré_ declaration of modern spiritualism finds
kindred in some of the beliefs of primitive peoples, concerning which
there is much in Ploss, Frazer, Bastian, etc.

In one of the Mussulman stories of King Solomon, the Angel of Death
descends in human form to take the soul of an aged man, whose wish was
to die when he had met the mightiest prophet. He dies talking to the
wise Hebrew king. Afterwards the Angel says to Solomon:--

"He [the angel, whose head reaches ten thousand years beyond the seventh
heaven, whose feet are five hundred years below the earth, and upon
whose shoulders stands the Angel of Death] it is who points out to me
when and how I must take a soul. His gaze is fixed on the tree Sidrat
Almuntaha, which bears as many leaves inscribed with names as there are
men living on the earth.

"At each new birth a new leaf, bearing the name of the newly-born,
bursts forth; and when any one has reached the end of his life, his leaf
withers and falls off, and at the same instant I am with him to receive
his soul....

"As often as a believer dies, Gabriel attends me, and wraps his soul in
a green silken sheet, and then breathes it into a green bird, which
feeds in Paradise until the day of the resurrection. But the soul of the
sinner I take alone, and, having wrapped it in a coarse, pitch-covered,
woollen cloth, carry it to the gates of Hell, where it wanders among
abominable vapours until the last day" (547. 213, 214).

According to the belief of the Miao-tse, an aboriginal tribe of the
province of Canton, in China, the souls of unborn children are kept in
the garden of two deities called "Flower-Grandfather" and
"Flower-Grandmother," and when to these have been made by a priest
sacrifices of hens or swine, the children are let out and thus appear
among men. As a charm against barrenness, these people put white paper
into a basket and have the priest make an invocation. The white paper
represents the deities, and the ceremony is called _kau fa; i.e._
"Flower Invocation."

In Japan, a certain Lake Fakone, owing its origin to an earthquake,
and now surrounded by many temples, is looked upon as the abode of the
souls of children about to be born (326. I. 3).

Certain Californian Indians, near Monterey, thought that "the dead
retreated to verdant islands in the West, while awaiting the birth of
the infants whose souls they were to form" (396. III. 525).

In Calabria, Italy, when a butterfly flits around a baby's cradle, it is
believed to be either an angel or a baby's soul, and a like belief
prevails in other parts of the world; and we have the classic
personification of Psyche, the soul, as a butterfly.

Among the uneducated peasantry of Ireland, the pure white butterfly is
thought to be the soul of the sinless and forgiven dead on the way to
Paradise, whilst the spotted ones are the embodiments of spirits
condemned to spend their time of purgatory upon earth, the number of the
sins corresponding with the number of spots on the wings of the insect
(418. 192).

In early Christian art and folk-lore, the soul is often figured as a
dove, and in some heathen mythologies of Europe as a mouse, weasel,
lizard, etc.

In various parts of the world we find that children, at death, go to
special limbos, purgatories, or heavens, and the folk-lore of the
subject must be read at length in the mythological treatises.

The Andaman Islanders "believe that every child which is conceived has
had a prior existence, but only as an infant. If a woman who has lost a
baby is again about to become a mother, the name borne by the deceased
is bestowed on the fetus, in the expectation that it will prove to be
the same child born again. Should it be found at birth that the babe is
of the same sex as the one who died, the identity is considered to be
sufficiently established; but, if otherwise, the deceased one is said to
be under the ràu- (_Ficus laccifera_), in _châ-itân-_
(Hades)." Under this tree, upon the fruit of which they live, also dwell
"the spirits and souls of all children who die before they cease to be
entirely dependent on their parents (_i.e._ under six years of
age)" (498. 86, 93). There was a somewhat similar myth in Venezuela
(448. 297).

Mr. Codrington gives some interesting illustrations of this belief from
Melanesia (25. 311):--

"In the island of Aurora, Maewo, in the New Hebrides, women sometimes
have a notion that the origin, beginning, of one of their children is a
cocoanut or a bread-fruit, or something of that kind; and they believe,
therefore, that it would be injurious to the child to eat that food. It
is a fancy of the woman, before the birth of the child, that the infant
will be the _nunu_, which may be translated the echo, of such an
object. Women also fancy that a child is the _nunu_ of some dead
person. It is not a notion of metempsychosis, as if the soul of the dead
person returned in the new-born child; but it is thought that there is
so close a connection that the infant takes the place of the deceased.
At Mota, also, in the Banks Islands, there was the belief that each
person had a source of his being, his origin, in some animate or
inanimate thing, which might, under some circumstances, become known to
him." As Mr. Codrington suggests, such beliefs throw light upon the
probable origin of totemism and its development.


Mrs. Stevenson informs us that "although the Sia do not believe in a
return of the spirits of their dead when they have once entered Shipapo
[the lower world], there was once an exception to this." The priestly
tale, as told to Mrs. Stevenson, is as follows (538. 143):--

"When the years were new, and this village had been built perhaps three
years, all the spirits of our dead came here for a great feast. They had
bodies such as they had before death; wives recognized husbands,
husbands wives, children parents, and parents children. Just after
sundown the spirits began arriving, only a few passing over the road by
daylight, but after dark they came in great crowds and remained until
near dawn. They tarried but one night; husbands and wives did not sleep
together; had they done so, the living would have surely died. When the
hour of separation came, there was much weeping, not only among the
living, but the dead. The living insisted upon going with the dead, but
the dead declared they must wait,--that they could not pass through the
entrance to the other world; they must first die or grow old and again
become little children to be able to pass through the door of the world
for the departed. It was then that the Sia first learned all about their
future home. They learned that the fields were vast, the pastures
beautiful, the mountains high, the lakes and rivers clear like crystal,
and the wheat and cornfields flourishing. During the day the spirits
sleep, and at night they work industriously in the fields. The moon is
father to the dead as the sun is father to the living, the dead resting
when the sun travels, for at this time they see nothing; it is when the
sun returns to his home at night that the departed spirits work and pass
about in their world below. The home of the departed spirits is in the
world first inhabited by the Sia."

We learn further: "It is the aim of the Sia to first reach the
intermediate state at the time the body ceases to develop, and then
return gradually back to the first condition of infancy; at such periods
one does not die, but sleeps to awake in the spirit-world as a little
child. Many stories have come to the Sia by those who have died only for
a time; the heart becomes still and the lips cold, and the spirit passes
to the entrance of the other world and looks in, but does not enter, and
yet it sees all, and in a short time returns to inhabit its earthly
body. Great alarm is felt when one returns in this way to life, but much
faith is put in the stories afterwards told by the one who has passed
over the road of death."

In the belief of these Indians of North America we see some
foreshadowing of the declaration of Jesus, a rude expression of the
fundamental thought underlying his words:--

"Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of
such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not
receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in nowise enter

Certain Siouan Indians think: "The stars are all deceased men. When a
child is born, a star descends and appears on earth in human form; after
death it reascends and appears as a star in heaven" (433. 508). How like
this is the poet's thought:--

  "Our birth, is but a sleep and a forgetting:
  The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
  Hath had elsewhere its setting,
  And cometh from afar."



  As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field so he
  --_Psalm_ ciii. 15.

  A child at play in meadows green,
  Plucking the fragrant flowers,
  Chasing the white-winged butterflies,--
  So sweet are childhood's hours.

  We meet wi' blythesome and kythesome cheerie weans,
  Daffin' and laughin' far adoon the leafy lanes,
  Wi' gowans and buttercups buskin' the thorny wands--
  Sweetly singin' wi' the flower-branch wavin' in their hands.

  Many savage nations worship trees, and I really think my first
  feeling would be one of delight and interest rather than of surprise,
  if some day when I am alone in a wood, one of the trees were to
  speak to me.--_Sir John Lubbock_.

  O who can tell
  The hidden power of herbs, and might of magic spell?--_Spenser_.

_Plant Life and Human Life_.

Flowers, plants, and trees have ever been interwoven with the fate of
man in the minds of poets and folk-thinkers. The great Hebrew psalmist
declared: "As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field
so he flourisheth," and the old Greeks said beautifully, [greek:
_oiæper phyllôn geneæ, toiæde kai andrôn_], "as is the generation
of leaves, so is also that of men"; or, to quote the words of Homer
(_Iliad_, vi. 146):--

  "Like as the generation of leaves, so also is that of men;
  For the wind strews the leaves on the ground; but the forest,
  Putting forth fresh buds, grows on, and spring will presently return.
  Thus with the generation of men; the one blooms, the other fades away."

One derivation (a folk-etymology, perhaps) suggested for the Greek
[Greek: _anthropos_] connects it with [Greek: _anthos_],
making _man_ to be "that which springs up like a flower." We
ourselves speak of the "flower of chivalry," the "bloom of youth,"
"budding youth"; the poets call a little child a "flower," a "bud," a
"blossom,"--Herrick even terms an infant "a virgin flosculet." Plants,
beasts, men, cities, civilizations, grow and _flourish_; the
selfsame words are applied to them all.

The same idea comes out strongly in the words relating to birth and
childhood in the languages of many primitive peoples. With the
Cakchiquel Indians of Guatemala the term _boz_ has the following
meanings: "to issue forth; (of flowers) to open, to blow; (of a
butterfly) to come forth from the cocoon; (of chicks) to come forth from
the egg; (of grains of maize) to burst; (of men) to be born"; in Nahuatl
(Aztec), _itzmolini_ signifies "to sprout, to grow, to be born"; in
Delaware, an Algonkian Indian dialect, _mehittuk_, "tree,"
_mehittgus_, "twig," _mehittachpin_, "to be born," seem
related, while _gischigin_ means "to ripen, to mature, to be born."

In many tongues the words for "young" reveal the same flow of thought.
In Maya, an Indian language of Yucatan, _yax_ signifies "green,
fresh, young"; in Nahuatl, _yancuic_, "green, fresh, new," and
_yancuic pilla_, "a new-born babe"; in Chippeway, _oshki,_
"new, fresh, young," whence _oshkigin_, "young shoot,"
_oshkinawe_, "lad, youth," _oshkinig_, "newly born,"
_oshkinaiaa_, "a new or young object," _oshkiaiaans_, "a young
animal or bird," oshkiabinodji_, "babe, infant, new-born child"; in
Karankawa, an Indian language of Texas, _kwa'-an_, "child, young,"
signifies literally "growing," from _ka'-awan_, "to grow" (said of
animals and plants).

Our English words _lad_ and _lass_, which came to the language
from Celtic sources, find their cognate in the Gothic
_jugga-lauths_, "young lad, young man," where _jugga_ means
"young," and _lauths_ is related to the verb _liudan_, "to
grow, to spring up," from which root we have also the German
_Leute_ and the obsolete English _leet_, for "people" were
originally "the grown, the sprung up."

_Maid (maiden)_, Anglo-Saxon _moegd_, Modern High German
_Magd_, Gothic _magaths_ (and here belongs also old English
_may_) is an old Teutonic word for "virgin, young girl." The Gothic
_magaths_ is a derivative from _magus_, "son, boy, servant,"
cognate with Old Irish _mac_, "boy, son, youth," _mog_ (mug),
"slave," Old Norse _mqgr_, "son," Anglo-Saxon _mago_, "son,
youth, servant, man," the radical of all these terms being _mag_,
"to have power, to increase, to grow,"--the Gothic _magus_ was
properly "a growing (boy)," a "maid" is "a growing (girl)." The same
idea underlies the month-name _May_, for, to the Romans, this was
"the month of growth,"--flowery, bounteous May,--and dedicated to
_Maia_, "the increaser," but curiously, as Ovid tells us, the
common people considered it unlucky to marry in May, for then the rites
of Bona Dea, the goddess of chastity, and the feasts of the dead, were


The study of dendanthropology and human florigeny would lead us wide
afield. The ancient Semitic peoples of Asia Minor had their "Tree of
Life," which later religions have spiritualized, and more than one race
has ascribed its origin to trees. The Carib Indians believed that
mankind--woman especially--were first created from two trees (509. 109).
According to a myth of the Siouan Indians, the first two human beings
stood rooted as trees in the ground for many ages, until a great snake
gnawed at the roots, so that they got loose and became the first
Indians. In the old Norse cosmogony, two human beings--man and
woman--were created from two trees--ash and elm--that stood on the
sea-shore; while Tacitus states that the holy grove of the Semnones was
held to be the cradle of the nation, and in Saxony, men are said to have
grown from trees. The Maya Indians called themselves "sons of the trees"
(509. 180, 264).

Doctor Beauchamp reports a legend of the Iroquois Indians, according to
which a god came to earth and sowed five handfuls of seed, and these,
changing to worms, were taken possession of by spirits, changed to
children, and became the ancestors of the Five Nations (480. IV. 297).

Classical mythology, along with dryads and tree-nymphs of all sorts,
furnishes us with a multitude of myths of the metamorphosis of human
beings into trees, plants, and flowers. Among the most familiar stories
are those of Adonis, Crocus, Phyllis, Narcissus, Leucothea, Hyacinthus,
Syrinx, Clytie, Daphne, Orchis, Lotis, Philemon and Baucis, Atys, etc.
All over the world we find myths of like import.

A typical example is the Algonkian Indian legend of the transformation
of Mishosha, the magician, into the sugar-maple,--the name
_aninatik_ or _ininatik_ is interpreted by folk-etymology as
"man-tree," the sap being the life-blood of Mishosha. Gluskap, the
culture-hero of the Micmacs, once changed "a mighty man" into the

Many of the peculiarities of trees and plants are explained by the folk
as resulting from their having once been human creatures.

Grimm and Ploss have called attention to the widespread custom of
planting trees on the occasion of the birth of a child, the idea being
that some sort of connection between the plant and the human existed and
would show itself sympathetically. In Switzerland, where the belief is
that the child thrives with the tree, or _vice versa_, apple-trees
are planted for boys and pear- or nut-trees for girls. Among the Jews, a
cedar was planted for a boy and a pine for a girl, while for the wedding
canopy, branches were cut from both these trees (385. 6). From this
thought the orators and psalmists of old Israel drew many a noble and
inspiring figure, such as that used by David: "The righteous shall
flourish like the palm-tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon."
Here belong also "flourishing like a green bay-tree," and the remark of
the Captain in Shakespeare's _King Richard Second:_--

  "'Tis thought the king is dead. We will not stay;
  The bay-trees in our country are all withered."

_Child-Flowers and -Plants._

The planting of trees for the hero or the heroine and the belief that
these wither when a death is near, blossom when a happy event
approaches, and in many ways react to the fate and fortune of their
human fellows, occur very frequently in fairy-tales and legends.

There is a sweet Tyrolian legend of "a poor idiot boy, who lived alone
in the forest and was never heard to say any words but 'Ave Maria.'
After his death a lily sprang up on his grave, on whose petals 'Ave
Maria' might be distinctly read." (416. 216).

An old Greek myth relates that the Crocus "sprang from the blood of the
infant Crocus, who was accidentally struck by a metal disc thrown by
Mercury, whilst playing a game" (448.299). In Ossianic story, "Malvina,
weeping beside the tomb of Fingal, for Oscar and his infant son, is
comforted by the maids of Morven, who narrate how they have seen the
innocent infant borne on a light mist, pouring upon the fields a fresh
harvest of flowers, amongst which rises one with golden disc, encircled
with rays of silver, tipped with a delicate tint of crimson." Such,
according to this Celtic legend, was the origin of the daisy (448. 308).

The peasants of Brittany believe that little children, when they die, go
straight to Paradise and are changed into beautiful flowers in the
garden of heaven (174. 141). Similar beliefs are found in other parts of
the world, and a like imagery is met with among our poets. Well known is
Longfellow's little poem "The Reaper and the Flowers," in which death,
as a reaper, reaps not alone the "bearded grain," but also "the flowers
[children] that grow between," for:--

 "'My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,'
  The reaper said, and smiled;
  'Dear tokens of the earth are they,
  Where he was once a child.'"

And so:--

 "The mother gave, in tears and pain,
  The flowers she most did love;
  She knew she should find them all again
  In the field of light above."

According to a myth of the Chippeway Indians, a star once came down from
heaven to dwell among men. Upon consulting with a young man in a dream
as to where it should live, it was told to choose a place for itself,
and, "at first, it dwelt in the white rose of the mountains; but there
it was so buried that it could not be seen. It went to the prairie; but
it feared the hoof of the buffalo. It next sought the rocky cliff; but
there it was so high that the children whom it loved most could not see
it." It decided at last to dwell where it could always be seen, and so
one morning the Indians awoke to find the surface of river, lake, and
pond covered with thousands of white flowers. Thus came into existence
the beautiful water-lilies (440. 68-70).

Perhaps the most beautiful belief regarding children's flowers is that
embodied in Hans Christian Andersen's tale _The Angel_, where the
Danish prose-poet tells us: "Whenever a child dies, an angel from heaven
comes down to earth and takes the dead child in his arms, spreads out
his great white wings, and flies away over all the places the child has
loved and picks quite a handful of flowers, which he carries up to the
Almighty, that they may bloom in heaven more brightly than on earth. And
the Father presses all the flowers to His heart; but He kisses the
flower that pleases Him best, and the flower is then endowed with a
voice and can join in the great chorus of praise" (393.341).


Beside this, however, we may perhaps place the following quaint story of
"The Devils on the Meadows of Heaven," of which a translation from the
German of Rudolph Baumbach, by "C. F. P.," appears in the _Association
Record_ (October, 1892), published by the Young Women's Christian
Association of Worcester, Mass.:--

"As you know, good children, when they die, come to Heaven and become
angels. But if you perhaps think they do nothing the sweet, long day but
fly about and play hide-and-seek behind the clouds, you are mistaken.
The angel-children are obliged to go to school like the boys and girls
on the earth, and on week days must be in the angel-school three hours
in the forenoon and two in the afternoon. There they write with golden
pens on silver slates, and instead of ABC-books they have story-books
with gay-coloured pictures. They do not learn geography, for of what use
in Heaven is earth-knowledge; and in eternity one doesn't know the
multiplication table at all. Dr. Faust is the angel-school teacher. On
earth he was an A.M., and on account of a certain event which does not
belong here, he is obliged to keep school in Heaven three thousand years
more before the long vacation begins for him. Wednesday and Saturday
afternoons the little angels have holiday; then they are taken to walk
on the Milky Way by Dr. Faust. But Sunday they are allowed to play on
the great meadow in front of the gate of Heaven, and that they joyfully
anticipate during the whole week.

"The meadow is not green, but blue, and on it grow thousands and
thousands of silver and golden flowers. They shine in the night and we
men call them stars.

"When the angels are sporting about before the gate of Heaven, Dr. Faust
is not present, for on Sunday he must recover from the toil of the past
week. St. Peter, who keeps watch at the Heavenly gate, then takes
charge. He usually sees to it that the play goes on properly, and that
no one goes astray or flies away; but if one ever gets too far away from
the gate, then he whistles on his golden key, which means 'Back!'

"Once--it was really very hot in Heaven--St. Peter fell asleep. When the
angels noticed this, they ceased swarming hither and thither and
scattered over the whole meadow. But the most enterprising of them went
out on a trip of discovery, and came at last to the place where the
world is surrounded by a board fence. First they tried to find a crack
somewhere through which they might peep, but as they found no gap, they
climbed up the board fence and hung dangling and looking over. Yonder,
on the other side, was hell, and before its gate a crowd of little
devils were just running about. They were coal-black, and had horns on
their heads and long tails behind. One of them chanced to look up and
noticed the angels, and immediately begged imploringly that they would
let them into Heaven for a little while; they would behave quite nice
and properly. This moved the angels to pity, and because they liked the
little black fellows, they thought they might perhaps allow the poor
imps this innocent pleasure.

"One of them knew the whereabouts of Jacob's ladder. This they dragged
to the place from the lumber-room (St. Peter had, luckily, not waked
up), lifted it over the fence of boards, and let it down into hell.
Immediately the tailed fellows clambered up its rounds like monkeys, the
angels gave them their hands, and thus came the devils upon Heaven's

"At first they behaved themselves in a quite orderly manner. Modestly
they stepped along and carried their tails on their arms like trains, as
the devil grandmother, who sets great value on propriety, had taught
them. But it did not last long; they became frolicsome, turned wheels
and somersaults, and shrieked at the same time like real imps. The
beautiful moon, who was looking kindly out of a window in Heaven, they
derided, thrust out their tongues and made faces (German: long noses) at
her, and finally began to pluck up the flowers which grew on the meadow
and throw them down on the earth. Now the angels grew frightened and
bitterly repented letting their evil guests into Heaven. They begged and
threatened, but the devils cared for nothing, and kept on in their
frolic more madly. Then, in terror, the angels waked up St. Peter and
penitently confessed to him what they had done. He smote his hands
together over his head when he saw the mischief which the imps had
wrought. 'March in!' thundered he, and the little ones, with drooping
wings, crept through the gate into Heaven. Then St. Peter called a few
sturdy angels. They collected the imps and took them where they

"The little angels did not escape punishment. Three Sundays in
succession they were not allowed in front of Heaven's gate, and, if they
were taken to walk, they were obliged to first unbuckle their wings and
lay aside their halos; and it is a great disgrace for an angel to go
about without wings and halo.

"But the affair resulted in some good, after all. The flowers which the
devils had torn up and thrown upon the earth took root and increased
from year to year. To be sure, the star-flower lost much of its heavenly
beauty, but it is still always lovely to look at, with its golden-yellow
disk, and its silvery white crown of rays.

"And because of its Heavenly origin, a quite remarkable power resides in
it. If a maiden, whose mind harbours a doubt, pulls off, one by one, the
white petals of the flower-star, whispering meanwhile a certain sentence
at the fall of the last little petal, she is quite sure of what she
desires to know."

The very name _Aster_ is suggestive of star-origin and recalls the
lines of Longfellow:--

  "Spake full well, in language quaint and olden,
    One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine,
  When he called the flowers, so blue and golden,
    Stars, that in earth's firmament do shine."

The reference seems to be to Friedrich Wilhelm Carové, of Coblentz, in
whose _Märchen ohne Ende_, a forget-me-not is spoken of as
"twinkling as brightly as a blue star on the green firmament of earth"
(390. II. 149).

Another contribution to floral astrology is the brief poem of H. M.
Sweeny in the _Catholic World_ for November, 1892:--

  "The Milky Way is the foot-path
    Of the martyrs gone to God;
  Its stars are the flaming jewels
    To show us the way they trod.

  "The flowers are stars dropped lower,
    Our daily path to light,
  In daylight to lead us upward
    As those jewels do at night."

Flower-oracles are discussed in another section, and the "language of
flowers" of which the poet tells,--

  "In Eastern lands they talk in flowers,
    And they tell in a garland their loves and cares;
  Each blossom that blooms in their garden bower
    On its leaves a mystic language bears,"

must be studied in Dyer, Friend, and Folkard, or in the various booklets
which treat of this entertaining subject.

Though in Bohemia it is believed that "seven-year-old children will
become beautiful by dancing in the flax," and in some parts of Germany
"when an infant seems weakly and thrives slowly, it is placed naked upon
the turf on Midsummer Day, and flax-seed is sprinkled over it; the idea
being, that, as the flax-seed grows, so the child will gradually grow
stronger" (435. 278, 279); flowers and plants are sometimes associated
with ill-luck and death. In Westphalia and Thuringia the superstition
prevails that "any child less than a year old, who is permitted to
wreathe himself with flowers, will soon die." In the region about
Cockermouth, in the county of Cumberland, England, the red campion
(_Lychnis diurna_) is known as "mother-die," the belief being that,
if children gather it, some misfortune is sure to happen to the parents.
Dyer records also the following: "In West Cumberland, the herb-robert
(_Geranium robertianum_) is called 'death come quickly,' from a
like reason, while in parts of Yorkshire, the belief is that the mother
of a child who has gathered the germander speedwell (_Veronica
chamoedrys_) will die ere the year is out" (435. 276).

_Children's Plant-Names._

Mr. H. C. Mercer, discussing the question of the presence of Indian corn
in Italy and Europe in early times, remarks (_Amer. Naturalist_,
Vol. XXVIII., 1894, p. 974):--

"An etymology has been suggested for the name _Grano Turco_
[Turkish grain], in the antics of boys when bearded and moustached with
maize silk, they mimic the fierce looks of Turks in the high 'corn.' We
cannot think that the Italian lad does not smoke the mock tobacco that
must tempt him upon each ear. If he does, he apes a habit no less
American in its origin than the maize itself. So the American lad
playing with a 'shoe-string bow' or a 'corn-stalk fiddle' would turn to
Italy for his inspiration."

In the interesting lists of popular American plant-names, published by
Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen (400), are found the following in which the child
is remembered:--

Babies' breath, _Galium Mollugo._ In Eastern Massachusetts.
Babies' breath, _Muscari botryoides._ In Eastern Massachusetts.
Babies' feet, _Polygala paucifolia._ In New Hampshire.
Babies' slippers, _Polygala paucifolia._ In Western Massachusetts.
Babies' toes, _Polygala paucifolia._ In Hubbardston, Mass.
Baby blue-eyes, _Nemophila insignis._ In Sta. Barbara, Cal.
Blue-eyed babies, _Houstonia coerulea._ In Springfield, Mass.
Boys and girls, _Dicentra cucullaria._ In New York.
Boys' love, _Artemisia absinthium._ In Wellfleet, Mass.
Death-baby, _Phallus sp. (?)._ In Salem, Mass.
Girls and boys, _Dicentra cucullaria._ In Vermont.
Little boy's breeches, _Dicentra cucullaria._ In Central Iowa.

"Blue-eyed babies" is certainly an improvement upon "Quaker ladies," the
name by which the _Houstonia_ is known in some parts of New
England; "death-baby" is a term that is given, Mrs. Bergen tells us,
"from the fancy that they foretell death in the family near whose house
they spring up. I have known of intelligent people rushing out in terror
and beating down a colony of these as soon as they appeared in the

The parents have not been entirely forgotten, as the following names

  Mother's beauties, _Calandrina Menziesii_. In Sta. Barbara, Cal.
  Mother of thousands, _Tradescantia crassifolia_ (?). In Boston, Mass.
  Daddy-nuts, _Tilia sp._ (?). In Madison, Wis.

At La Crosse, Wis., the _Lonicera talarica_, is called "twin
sisters," a name which finds many analogues.

As we have seen, the consideration of children as flowers, plants,
trees, traverses many walks of life. Floral imagery has appealed to many
primitive peoples, perhaps to none more than to the ancient Mexicans,
with whom children were often called flowers, and the Nagualists termed
Mother-Earth "the flower that contains everything," and "the flower that
eats everything"--being at once the source and end of life (413. 54).

A sweet old German legend has it that the laughter of little children
produced roses, and the sweetest and briefest of the "good-night songs"
of the German mothers is this:--

  "Guten Abend, gute Nacht!
   Mit Rosen bedacht,
   Mit Näglein besteckt;
   Morgen früh, wenn's Gott will,
   Wirst du wieder geweckt."



  My brother, the hare, ... my sisters, the doves.
  --_St. Francis of Assisi._

  Love of animals is inborn. The child that has had no pets is to
  be pitied.--_G. Stanley Hall._

  For what are the voices of birds--
  Aye, and of beasts,--but words, our words,
  Only so much more sweet?--_Browning._

  I know not, little Ella, what the flowers
    Said to you then, to make your cheek so pale;
  And why the blackbird in our laurel bowers
    Spoke to you, only: and the poor pink snail
  Fear'd less your steps than those of the May-shower
    It was not strange those creatures loved you so,
    And told you all. 'Twas not so long ago
  You were yourself a bird, or else a flower.
    --_Lord Lytton (Owen Meredith)._

_Children and Young Animals._

The comparisons sometimes made of children with various of the lower
animals, such as monkeys, bears, pigs, etc., come more naturally to some
primitive peoples, who, as Ploss has pointed out, suckle at the breast
the young of certain animals simultaneously with their own offspring. In
this way, the infant in the Society Islands comes early into association
with puppies, as he does also among several of the native tribes of
Australia and America; so was it likewise in ancient Rome, and the
custom may yet be found among the tent-gypsies of Transylvania, in
Persia, and even within the present century has been met with in Naples
and Göttingen. The Maori mother, in like manner, suckles young pigs, the
Arawak Indian of Guiana young monkeys (as also do the Siamese), the
natives of Kamtschatka young bears. An old legend of the city of Breslau
has it that the fashion certain ladies have of carrying dogs around with
them originated in the fact that Duke Boleslau, in the last quarter of
the eleventh century, punished the women of Breslau, for some connubial
unfaithfulness, by taking away their suckling children and making them,
carry instead puppies at the breast (392. I. 61).

Of the Arekuna of Guiana, Schomburgk tells us:--"They bring up children
and monkeys together. The monkeys are members of the family, eat with
the other members, are suckled by the women, and have great affection
for their human nurses. Oftentimes a woman is to be seen with a child
and a monkey at the breast, the two nurselings quarrelling" (529. 13).

The young children of the less nomadic tribes grow up in close
association with the few domestic animals possessed by their parents,
tumbling about with the puppies on the wigwam-floor or racing with them
around the camp-stead.

The history of totemism and fetichism, primitive medicine, and the arts
connected therewith, their panaceas, talismans, and amulets, show early
association of the child with animals. In the village of Issapoo, on the
island of Fernando Po, in Western Africa, there is fastened to a pole in
the market-place a snake-skin, to touch which all infants born the
preceding year are brought by their mothers during an annual festival
(529. 32). In various parts of the world, novices and neophytes are put
to dream or fast in seclusion until they see some animal which becomes
their tutelary genius, and whose form is often tattooed upon their body.

Sir John Maundeville, the veracious mediaeval chronicler, reported that
in Sicily serpents were used to test the legitimacy of children; "if the
children be illegitimate, the serpents bite and kill them." Hartland
cites, on the authority of Thiele, "a story in which a wild stallion
colt is brought in to smell two babes, one of which is a changeling.
Every time he smells one he is quiet and licks it; but, on smelling the
other, he is invariably restive and strives to kick it. The latter,
therefore, is the changeling" (258. 111).

_Animal Nurses._

Akin to these practices are many of the forms of exposure and
abandonment all over the world. Shakespeare, in _The Winter's
Tale_, makes Antigonus say:--

  "Come on (poor Babe).
  Some powerful Spirit instruct the Kites and Ravens
  To be thy Nurses. Wolves and Bears, they say
  (Casting their savageness aside), have done
  Like offices of pity."

An old Egyptian painting represents a child and a calf being suckled by
the same cow, and in Palestine and the Canary Islands, goats are used to
suckle children, especially if the mother of the little one has died
(125. II. 393). The story of Psammetichus and the legend of Romulus and
Remus find parallels in many lands. Gods, heroes, saints, are suckled
and cared for in their infancy by grateful beasts.

_Wild Children._

Doctor Tylor has discussed at some length the subject of "wild men and
beast children" (376), citing examples from many different parts of the
globe. Procopius, the chronicler of the Gothic invasion of Italy, states
(with the additional information that he saw the child in question
himself), that, after the barbarians had ravaged the country, "an
infant, left by its mother, was found by a she-goat, which suckled and
took care of it. When the survivors came back to their deserted homes,
they found the child living with its adopted mother, and called it
Aegisthus." Doctor Tylor calls attention to the prevalence of similar
stories in Germany after the destruction and devastation of the
Napoleonic wars; there appears to be record of several children wild or
animal-reared having, during this period, been received into Count von
Recke's asylum at Overdyke. Many of these tales we need not hesitate to
dismiss as purely fabulous, though there may be truth in some of the
rest. Among the best-known cases (some of which are evidently nothing
more than idiots, or poor wandering children) are: Peter, the "Wild Boy"
of Hameln (in 1724); the child reported in the Hessian Chronicle as
having been found by some hunters living with wolves in 1341; the child
reported by Bernard Connor as living with she-bears, and the child found
with bears at Grodno in Poland; the wolf-child of the Ardennes,
mentioned by Koenig, in his treatise on the subject; the Irish boy said
to feed on grass and hay, found living among the wild sheep; the girl
found living wild in Holland in 1717; the two goat-like boys of the
Pyrenees (in 1719); the amphibious wild girl of Châlons sur Marne (in
1731); the wild boy of Bamberg, who lowed like an ox; and, the most
renowned of all, Kaspar Hauser. This celebrated "wild boy" has recently
been made the subject of a monograph by the Duchess of Cleveland (208),
of which the first words are these: "The story of Kaspar Hauser is both
curious and instructive. It shows on how commonplace and unpromising a
foundation a myth of European celebrity may rest." Sir William Sleeman
has something to say of "beast-children" in the Kingdom of Oude (183),
and Mr. Ball, who writes of wolf-reared children in India, calls
attention to the fact that in that country there seems to have been no
instance of a wolf-reared girl (183. 474).

In the _Kathâ sarit sâgara_ ("Ocean of the River of Story"), a work
belonging to the twelfth century, there is the story of the immoral
union of a _yaksha_, or _jin_, and the daughter of a holy man,
who was bathing in the Granges. The relatives of the girl by magic
changed the two guilty persons into a lion and a lioness. The latter
soon died, but gave birth to a human child, which the lion-father made
the other lionesses suckle. The baby grew up and became "the
world-ruling king, Satavahana" (376. 29). Another Hindu story tells how
the daughter of a Brahman, giving birth to a child while on a journey,
was forced to leave it in a wood, where it was suckled and nursed by
female jackals until rescued by merchants who happened to pass by.

Herodotus repeats the tales that Cyrus was nursed and suckled by a
bitch; Zeus figures as suckled by a goat; Romulus and Remus, the
founders of Rome according to the ancient legend, were nursed by a
she-wolf; and others of the heroes and gods of old were suckled by
animals whose primitive kinship with the race of man the folk had not

Professor Rauber of Dorpat, in his essay on "Homo Sapiens Ferus" (335),
discusses in detail sixteen cases of wild children (including most of
those treated by Tylor) as follows: the two Hessian wolf-children, boys
(1341-1344); the Bamberg boy, who grew up among the cattle (at the close
of the sixteenth century); Hans of Liège; the Irish boy brought up by
sheep; the three Lithuanian bear-boys (1657, 1669, 1694); the girl of
Oranienburg (1717); the two Pyrenæan boys (1719); Peter, the wild boy of
Hameln (1724); the girl of Songi in Champagne (1731); the Hungarian
bear-girl (1767); the wild man of Cronstadt (end of eighteenth century);
the boy of Aveyron (1795). It will be noticed that in this list of
sixteen cases but two girls figure.

As a result of his studies Professor Rauber concludes: "What we are wont
to call reason does not belong to man as such; in himself he is without
it. The appellation _Homo sapiens_ does not then refer to man as
such, but to the ability under certain conditions of becoming possessed
of reason. It is the same with language and culture of every sort. The
title _Homo sapiens ferus_ (Linnæus) is in a strict sense
unjustifiable and a contradiction in itself." To prehistoric man these
wild children are like, but they are not the same as he; they resemble
him, but cannot be looked upon as one and the same with him. From the
stand-point of pedagogy, Professor Rauber, from the consideration of
these children, feels compelled to declare that "the ABC-school must be
replaced by the culture-school." In other words: "The ABC is not, as so
many believe, the beginning of all wisdom. In order to be able to
admeasure this sufficiently, prehistoric studies are advisable, nay,
necessary. Writing is a very late acquisition of man. In the arrangement
of a curriculum for the first years of the culture-school, reading and
writing are to be placed at the end of the second school year, but never
are they to begin the course ... Manual training ought also to be taken
up in the schools; it is demanded by considerations of culture-history"

_Animal Stories._

Professor W. H. Brewer of New Haven, discussing the "instinctive
interest of children in bear and wolf stories," observes (192): "The
children of European races take more interest in bear and wolf stories
than in stories relating to any other wild animals. Their interest in
bears is greater than that in wolves, and in the plays of children bears
have a much more conspicuous part. There is a sort of fascination in
everything relating to these animals that attracts the child's attention
from a very early age, and 'Tell me a bear story' is a common request
long before it learns to read." After rejecting, as unsatisfactory, the
theory that would make it a matter of education with each child,--"the
conservative traditions of children have preserved more stories about
bears and wolves, parents and nurses talk more about them, these animals
have a larger place in the literature for children; hence the special
interest,"--Professor Brewer expresses his own belief that "the special
interest our children show towards these two animals is instinctive, and
it is of the nature of an inherited memory, vague, to be sure, yet
strong enough to give a bend to the natural inclinations." He points out
that the bear and the wolf are the two animals "which have been and
still are the most destructive to human life (and particularly to
children) in our latitude and climate," and that "several of the large
breeds of dogs,--the wolf-hound proper, the mastiff (particularly the
Spanish mastiff), and even the St. Bernard,--were originally evolved as
wolf-dogs for the protection of sheep and children." His general
conclusion is: "The fear inspired by these animals during the long ages
of the childhood of our civilization, and the education of the many
successive generations of our ancestors in this fear, descends to us as
an inherited memory, or, in other words, an instinct. While not strong,
it is of sufficient force to create that kind of fascination which
stories of bears and wolves have in children before the instincts are
covered up and obscured by intellectual education. The great shaggy bear
appeals more strongly to the imagination of children, hence its superior
value to play 'boo' with."

_Rabbit and Hare._

The rabbit and the hare figure in many mythologies, and around them,
both in the Old World and the New, has grown up a vast amount of
folk-lore. The rabbit and the child are associated in the old

  "Bye, bye, Baby Bunting,
  Papa's gone a-hunting,
  To get a rabbit-skin,
  To wrap Baby Bunting in,"

which reminds us at once of the Chinook Indians and the Flat Heads of
the Columbia, with whom "the child is wrapped in rabbit-skins and placed
in this little coffin-like cradle, from which it is not in some
instances taken out for several weeks" (306.174).

An Irish belief explains hare-lip as having been caused, before the
birth of the child, by the mother seeing a hare. The Chinese think that
"a hare or a rabbit sits at the foot of the cassia-tree in the moon,
pounding the drugs out of which the elixir of immortality is compounded"
(401. 155).

The Ungava Eskimo, according to Turner, have a legend that the hare was
once a little child, abused by its elders; "it ran away to dwell by
itself. The hare has no tail, because as a child he had none; and he
lays back his ears, when he hears a shout, because he thinks people are
talking about him" (544. 263).

In a myth of the Menomoni Indians, reported by Dr. W. J. Hoffman, we
read that Manabush [the great culture-hero] and a twin brother were born
the sons of the virgin daughter of an old woman named Nokómis. His
brother and mother died. Nokómis wrapped Manabush in dry, soft grass,
and placed a wooden bowl over him. After four days a noise proceeded
from the bowl, and, upon removing it, she saw "a little white rabbit
with quivering ears." Afterwards, when grown up, and mourning for the
death of his brother, Manabush is said to have hid himself in a large
rock near Mackinaw, where he was visited by the people for many years.
When he did not wish to see them in his human form, he appeared to them
as "a little white rabbit with trembling ears" (389. (1890) 246). Of the
white rabbit, the Great Hare, Manabush, Naniboju, etc., more must be
read in the mythological essays of Dr. Brinton.

Among the tales of the Ainu of Yezo, Japan, recorded by Professor B. H.
Chamberlain, is the following concerning the Hare-god:--

"Suddenly there was a large house on top of a hill, wherein were six
persons beautifully arrayed, but constantly quarrelling. Whence they
came was not known. Thereupon [the god] Okikurumi came, and said: 'Oh,
you bad hares! you wicked hares! Who should not know your origin? The
children in the sky were pelting each other with snowballs, and the
snowballs fell into this world of men. As it would have been a pity to
waste heaven's snow, the snowballs were turned into hares, and those
hares are you. You who live in this world of mine, this world of human
beings, must be quiet. What is it that you are brawling about?' With
these words, Okikurumi seized a fire-brand, and beat each of the six
with it in turn. Thereupon all the hares ran away. This is the origin of
the hare-god, and for this reason the body of the hare is white, because
made of snow, while its ears, which are the part which was charred by
the fire, are black" (471. 486).

The Mayas of Yucatan have a legend of a town of hares under the earth
(411. 179).

In Germany we meet with the "Easter-Hare" (Oster-Hase). In many parts of
that country the custom prevails at or about Easter-tide of hiding in
the garden, or in the house, eggs, which, the children are told, have
been laid by the "Easter-hare." Another curious term met with in
northeastern Germany is "hare-bread" (Hasenbrod). In Quedlinburg this
name is given to bread (previously placed there intentionally by the
parents) picked up by children when out walking with their parents or
elders. In Lüneburg it is applied to dry bread given a hungry child with
an exhortation to patience. In the first case, the little one is told
that the hare has lost it, and in the second, that it has been taken
away from him. The name "hare-bread" is also given to bread brought home
by the parents or elders, when returning from a journey, the children
being told that it has been taken away from the hare.

In the shadow-pictures made on the wall for the amusement of children
the rabbit again appears, and the hare figures also in children's games.


According to the belief of certain Indians of Vancouver Island, there
once lived "a monstrous old woman with wolfish teeth, and finger-nails
like claws." She used to entice away little children whom she afterwards
ate up. One day a mother, who was about to lose her child thus, cried
out to the spirits to save her child in any way or form. Her prayer was
answered, and "The Great Good Father, looking down upon the Red Mother,
pities her; lo! the child's soft brown skin turns to fur, and there
slides from the ogress's grip, no child, but the happiest, liveliest,
merriest little squirrel of all the West,--but bearing, as its
descendants still bear, those four dark lines along the back that show
where the cruel claws ploughed into it escaping" (396. III. 52-54).

Elsewhere, also, the squirrel is associated with childhood. Familiar is
the passage in Longfellow's _Hiawatha,_ where the hero speaks to
the squirrel, who has helped him out of a great difficulty:--

  "Take the thanks of Hiawatha,
  And the name which now he gives you;
  For hereafter, and forever,
  Boys shall call you _adjidaumo,
  Tail in air_ the boys shall call you."


Those noble and indefatigable missionaries, the Moravians, have more
than once been harshly criticised in certain quarters, because, in their
versions of the Bible, in the Eskimo language, they saw fit to
substitute for some of the figurative expressions employed in our
rendering, others more intelligible to the aborigines. In the New
Testament Christ is termed the "Lamb of God," but since, in the Arctic
home of the Innuit, shepherds and sheep are alike unknown, the
translators, by a most felicitous turn of language, rendered the phrase
by "little seal of God," a figure that appealed at once to every Eskimo,
young and old, men and women; for what sheep were to the dwellers on the
Palestinian hillsides, seals are to this northernmost of human races.
Rink tells us that the Eskimo mother "reserves the finest furs for her
new-born infant," while the father keeps for it "the daintiest morsels
from the chase," and, "to make its eyes beautiful, limpid, and bright, he
gives it seal's eyes to eat" (523. 37).


Mrs. Bramhall tells us how in Japan the little children, playing about
the temples, feed the pet fishes of the priests in the temple-lake. At
the temple of the Mikado, at Kioto, she saw "six or eight little boys
and girls ... lying at full length on the bank of the pretty lake." The
fishes were called up by whistling, and the children fed them by holding
over the water their open hands full of crumbs (189. 65). Other
inhabitants of the sea and the waters of the earth are brought into
early relation with children.

_Crabs and Crawfishes._

Among the Yeddavanad, of the Congo, a mother tells her children
concerning three kinds of crabs: "Eat _kallali,_ and you will
become a clever man; eat _hullali,_ and you will become as brave as
a tiger; eat _mandalli,_ and you will become master of the house"
(449. 297).

In the Chippeway tale of the "Raccoon and the Crawfish," after the
former, by pretending to be dead, has first attracted to him and then
eaten all the crawfish, we are told:--

"While he was engaged with the broken limbs, a little female crawfish,
carrying her infant sister on her back, came up seeking her relations.
Finding they had all been devoured by the raccoon, she resolved not to
survive the destruction of her kindred, but went boldly up to the enemy,
and said: 'Here, Aissibun (Raccoon), you behold me and my little sister.
We are all alone. You have eaten up our parents and all our friends. Eat
us, too!' And she continued to say: 'Eat us, too! _Aissibun amoon,
Aissibun amoon!'_ The raccoon was ashamed. 'No!' said he,' I have
banqueted on the largest and fattest; I will not dishonour myself with
such little prey.' At this moment, Manabozbo [the culture-hero or
demi-god of these Indians] happened to pass by. _'Tyau,'_ said he
to the raccoon, 'thou art a thief and an unmerciful dog. Get thee up
into trees, lest I change thee into one of these same worm-fish; for
thou wast thyself a shell-fish originally, and I transformed thee.'
Manabozho then took up the little supplicant crawfish and her infant
sister, and cast them into the stream. 'There,' said he, 'you may dwell.
Hide yourselves under the stones; and hereafter you shall be playthings
for little children'" (440. 411, 412).


The imitation of animals, their movements, habits, and peculiarities in
games and dances, also makes the child acquainted at an early age with
these creatures.

In the section on "Bird and Beast," appropriately headed by the words of
the good St. Francis of Assisi--"My brother, the hare, ... my sisters,
the doves,"--Mr. Newell notices some of the children's games in which
the actions, cries, etc., of animals are imitated. Such are "My
Household," "Frog-Pond," "Bloody Tom," "Blue-birds and Yellow-birds,"
"Ducks fly" (313. 115).


Not at Dodona and in Arcadia alone has the dove been associated with
religion, its oracles, its mysteries, and its symbolism. In the
childhood of the world, according to the great Hebrew cosmologist, "the
Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," and a later bard and
seer of our own race reanimated the ancient figure of his predecessor in
all its pristine strength, when in, the story of Paradise lost and found
again, he told how, at the beginning, the creative spirit

  "Dove-like sat brooding o'er the vast abyss."

In the childhood of the race, it was a dove that bore to the few
survivors of the great flood the branch of olive, token that the anger
of Jahveh was abated, and that the waters no longer covered the whole
earth. In the childhood of Christianity, when its founder was baptized
of John in the river Jordan, "Lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and
the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and lighted on Him,"--and the
"Heavenly Dove" Still beautifies the imagery of oratory and song, the
art and symbolism of the great churches, its inheritors. In the
childhood of man the individual, the dove has also found warm welcome.
At the moment of the birth of St. Austrebertha (630-704 A.D.), as the
quaint legend tells, "the chamber was filled with a heavenly odour, and
a white dove, which hovered awhile above the house, flew into the
chamber and settled on the head of the infant," and when Catherine of
Racconigi (1486-1547 A.D.) was only five years old "a dove, white as
snow, flew into her chamber and lighted on her shoulder"; strange to
relate, however, the infant first took the bird for a tool of Satan, not
a messenger of God. When St. Briocus of Cardigan, a Welsh saint of the
sixth century, "was receiving the communion for the first time, a dove,
white as snow, settled on his head, and the abbot knew that the young
boy was a chosen vessel of honour" (191. 107, 108).

In a Swedish mother's hymn occurs the following beautiful thought:--

  "There sitteth a dove so white and fair,
    All on the lily spray,
  And she listeneth how to Jesus Christ
    The little children pray.

  "Lightly she spreads her friendly wings,
    And to Heaven's gate hath sped,
  And unto the Father in Heaven she bears
    The prayers which the children have said.

  "And back she comes from Heaven's gate,
    And brings, that dove so mild,
  From the Father in Heaven, who hears her speak,
    A blessing on every child.

  "Then, children, lift up a pious prayer!
    It hears whatever you say;
  That heavenly dove so white and fair,
    All on the lily spray" (379. 255).

The bird-messenger of childhood finds its analogue in the beliefs of
some primitive tribes that certain birds have access to the spirit-land,
and are the bearers of tidings from the departed. Into the same category
fall the ancient practice of releasing a dove (or some other winged
creature) at the moment of death of a human being, as a means of
transport of his soul to the Elysian fields, and the belief that the
soul itself took its flight in the form and semblance of a dove (509.

The Haida Indians, of British Columbia, think that, "in the land of
light, children often transform themselves into bears, seals, and
birds," and wonderful tales are told of their adventures.

Hartley Coleridge found for the guardian angel of infancy, no apter
figure than that of the dove:--

  "Sweet infant, whom thy brooding parents love
  For what thou art, and what they hope to see thee,
  Unhallow'd sprites, and earth-born phantoms flee thee;
  Thy soft simplicity, a hovering dove,
  That still keeps watch from blight and bane to free thee,
  With its weak wings, in peaceful care outspread,
  Fanning invisibly thy pillow'd head,
  Strikes evil powers with reverential dread,
  Beyond the sulphurous bolts of fabled Jove,
  Or whatsoe'er of amulet or charm
  Fond ignorance devised to save poor souls from harm."

Perhaps the sweetest touch of childhood in all Latin literature is that
charming passage in Horace (_Carm._ Lib. III. 4):--

  "Me fabulosæ Vulture in Apulo,
  Nutrices extra limen Apuliæ,
  Ludo fatigatoque somno
  Fronde nova puerum palumbes

which Milman thus translates:--

  "The vagrant infant on Mount Vultur's side,
   Beyond my childhood's nurse, Apulia's bounds,
   By play fatigued and sleep,
   Did the poetic doves
   With young leaves cover."

The amativeness of the dove has lent much to the figurative language of
that second golden age, that other Eden where love is over all.
Shenstone, in his beautiful pastoral, says:--

 "I have found out a gift for my fair;
  I have found where the wood-pigeons breed,"

and the "love of the turtle," "billing and cooing," are now transferred
to human affection. Venus, the goddess of love, and the boy-god Cupid
ride in a chariot drawn by doves, which birds were sacred to the
sea-born child of Uranus. In the springtime, when "the voice of the
turtle is heard in the land," then "a young man's fancy lightly turns to
thoughts of love." If, from the sacred oaks of Dodona, to the first
Greeks, the doves disclosed the oracles of Jove, so has "the moan of
doves in immemorial elms" divulged to generation after generation of
lovers the mission of his son of the bow and quiver.


What the wood-pigeon was to Horace, the robin-redbreast has been to the
children of old England. In the celebrated ballad of the "Children in
the Wood", we are told that, after their murder by the cruel uncle,--

  "No burial these pretty babes
  Of any man receives,
  Till Robin Redbreast piously
  Did cover them with leaves."

The poet Thomson speaks of "the redbreast sacred to the household gods,"
and Gray, in a stanza which, since the edition of 1753, has been omitted
from the _Elegy_, wrote:--

  "There scattered oft, the earliest of the year,
  By hands unseen are frequent violets found;
  The robin loves to build and warble there,
  And little footsteps lightly print the ground."

Dr. Robert Fletcher (447) has shown to what extent the redbreast figures
in early English poetry, and the belief in his pious care for the dead
and for children is found in Germany, Brittany, and other parts of the
continent of Europe. In England the robin is the children's favourite
bird, and rhymes and stories in his honour abound,--most famous is the
nursery song, "Who killed Cock Robin?"

A sweet legend of the Greek Church tells us that "Our Lord used to feed
the robins round his mother's door, when a boy; moreover, that the robin
never left the sepulchre till the Resurrection, and, at the Ascension,
joined in the angels' song." The popular imagination, before which the
robin appears as "the pious bird with the scarlet breast," found no
difficulty in assigning a cause for the colour of its plumage. One
legend, current amongst Catholic peoples, has it that "the robin was
commissioned by the Deity to carry a drop of water to the souls of
unbaptized infants in hell, and its breast was singed in piercing the
flames." In his poem _The Robin_, Whittier has versified the story
from a Welsh source. An old Welsh lady thus reproves her grandson, who
had tossed a stone at the robin hopping about in the apple-tree:--

  "'Nay!' said the grandmother; 'have you not heard,
    My poor, bad boy! of the fiery pit,
  And how, drop by drop, this merciful bird
    Carries the water that quenches it?

  "'He brings cool dew in his little bill,
    And lets it fall on the souls of sin;
  You can see the mark on his red breast still
    Of fires that scorch as he drops it in.'"

Another popular story, however, relates that when Christ was on His way
to Calvary, toiling beneath the burden of the cross, the robin, in its
kindness, plucked a thorn from the crown that oppressed His brow, and
the blood of the divine martyr dyed the breast of the bird, which ever
since has borne the insignia of its charity. A variant of the same
legend makes the thorn wound the bird itself and its own blood dye its

According to a curious legend of the Chippeway Indians, a stern father
once made his young son undergo the fasting necessary to obtain a
powerful guardian spirit. After bravely holding out for nine days, he
appealed to his father to allow him to give up, but the latter would not
hear of it, and by the eleventh day the boy lay as one dead. At dawn the
next morning, the father came with the promised food. Looking through a
hole in the lodge, he saw that his son had painted his breast and
shoulders as far as he could reach with his hands. When he went into the
lodge, he saw him change into a beautiful bird and fly away. Such was
the origin of the first robin-redbreast (440. 210). Whittier, in his
poem, _How the Robin Came_, has turned the tale of the Red Men into
song. As the father gazed about him, he saw that on the lodge-top--

  "Sat a bird, unknown before,
  And, as if with human tongue,
  'Mourn me not,' it said, or sung;
  'I, a bird, am still your son,
  Happier than if hunter fleet,
  Or a brave before your feet
  Laying scalps in battle won.
  Friend of man, my song shall cheer
  Lodge and corn-land; hovering near,
  To each wigwam I shall bring
  Tidings of the coming spring;
  Every child my voice shall know
  In the moon of melting snow
  When the maple's red bud swells,
  And the wind-flower lifts its bells.
  As their fond companion
  Men shall henceforth own your son,
  And my song shall testify
  That of human kin am I.'"


The _Lieblingsvogel_ of German children is the stork, who, as
parents say, brings them their little brothers and sisters, and who is
remembered in countless folk and children's rhymes. The mass of
child-literature in which the stork figures is enormous. Ploss has a
good deal to say of this famous bird, and Carstens has made it the
subject of a brief special study,--"The Stork as a Sacred Bird in
Folk-Speech and Child-Song" (198). The latter says: "It is with a sort
of awe (_Ehrfurcht_) that the child looks upon this sacred bird,
when, returning with the spring he settles down on the roof, throwing
back his beak and greeting the new home with a flap of his wings; or
when, standing now on one foot, now on the other, he looks so solemnly
at things, that one would think he was devoutly meditating over
something or other; or, again, when, on his long stilt-like legs, he
gravely strides over the meadows. With great attention we listened as
children to the strange tales and songs which related to this sacred
bird, as our mother told them to us and then added with solemn mien,
'where he keeps himself during the winter is not really known,' or, 'he
flies away over the _Lebermeer_, whither no human being can
follow.' 'Storks are enchanted (_verwünscht_) men,' my mother used
to say, and in corroboration told the following story: 'Once upon a time
a stork broke a leg. The owner of the house upon which the stork had its
nest, interested himself in the unfortunate creature, took care of it
and attended to it, and soon the broken leg was well again. Some years
later, it happened that the kind-hearted man, who was a mariner, was
riding at anchor near the North Sea Coast, and the anchor stuck fast to
the bottom, so that nothing remained but for the sailor to dive into the
depths of the sea. This he did, and lo! he found the anchor clinging to
a sunken church-steeple. He set it free, but, out of curiosity, went
down still deeper, and far down below came to a magnificent place, the
inhabitants of which made him heartily welcome. An old man addressed him
and informed him that he had been the stork whose leg the sailor had
once made well, and that the latter was now in the real home of the
storks.'" Carstens compares this story with that of Frau Holle, whose
servant the stork, who brings the little children out of the
child-fountain of the Götterburg, would seem to be. In North Germany
generally the storks are believed to be human beings in magical
metamorphosis, and hence no harm must be done them. Between the
household, upon whose roof the stork takes up his abode, and the family
of the bird, a close relation is thought to subsist. If his young ones
die, so will the children of the house; if no eggs are laid, no children
will be born that year; if a stork is seen to light upon a house, it is
regarded by the Wends of Lusatia as an indication that a child will be
born there the same year; in Switzerland the peasant woman about to give
birth to a child chants a brief appeal to the stork for aid. A great
variety of domestic, meteorological, and other superstitions are
connected with the bird, its actions, and mode of life. The common Low
German name of the stork, _Adebar_, is said to mean "luck-bringer";
in Dutch, he is called _ole vaer,_ "old father." After him the
wood-anemone is called in Low German _Hannoterblume,_
"stork's-flower." An interesting tale is "The Storks," in Hans Christian


In the Golden Age, as the story runs, men were able to hold converse
with the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, nor had a
diversity of dialects yet sprung up among them. In Eden of old the whole
world was of one tongue and one speech; nay more, men talked with the
gods and with God. Many legends of primitive peoples there are telling
how confusion first arose,--every continent has its Babel-myth,--and how
men came at last to be unable to comprehend each other's speech. The
Indians of Nova Scotia say that this occurred when Gluskap, the
culture-hero of the Micmacs, after giving a parting banquet to all
creatures of earth, sea, and air, "entered his canoe in the Basin of
Minas, and, sailing westward in the moonlight, disappeared. Then the
wolves, bears, and beavers, who had before been brothers, lost the gift
of common language, and birds and beasts, hating one another, fled into
the distant forests, where, to this day, the wolf howls and the loon
utters its sad notes of woe" (418. 185).

The Mexican legend of the deluge states that the vessel in which were
Coxcox,--the Mexican Noah,--and his wife, Xochiquetzal, stranded on a
peak of Colhuacan. To them were born fifteen sons, who, however, all
came into the world dumb, but a dove gave them fifteen tongues, and
thence are descended the fifteen languages and tribes of Anahuac (509.

In later ages, among other peoples, the knowledge of the forgotten
speech of the lower creation was possessed by priests and seers alone,
or ascribed to innocent little children,--some of the power and wisdom
of the bygone Golden Age of the race is held yet to linger with the
golden age of childhood. In the beautiful lines,--

  "O du Kindermund, o du Kindermund,
  Unbewuszter Weisheit froh,
  Vogelsprachekund, vogelsprachekund,
  Wie Salamo!"

the poet Rückert attributes to the child that knowledge of the language
of birds, which the popular belief of the East made part of the lore of
the wise King Solomon. Weil (547. 191) gives the Mussulman version of
the original legend:--

"In him [Solomon] David placed implicit confidence, and was guided by
him in the most difficult questions, for he had heard, in the night of
his [Solomon's] birth, the angel Gabriel exclaim, 'Satan's dominion is
drawing to its close, for this night a child is born, to whom Iblis and
all his hosts, together with all his descendants, shall be subject. The
earth, air, and water with all the creatures that live therein, shall be
his servants. He shall be gifted with nine-tenths of all the wisdom and
knowledge which Allah has granted to mankind, and understand not only
the languages of men, but those also of beasts and birds.'" Some
recollection of this appears in Ecclesiastes (x. 20), where we read,
"For a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings
shall tell the matter," and in our own familiar saying "a little bird
told me," as well as in the Bulbul-hezar or talking bird of the
_Arabian Nights_, and its imitation "the little green bird who
tells everything," in the _Fairy Tales_ of the Comtesse d'Aunoy.
The interpretation of the cries of birds and animals into human speech
has also some light thrown upon it from this source. Various aspects of
this subject have been considered by Hopf (474), Swainson (539),
Treichel (372), Brunk, Grimm (462). The use of certain birds as oracles
by children is well known. A classical example is the question of the
Low German child:--

  "Kukuk van Hewen,
    "Wi lank sail ik lewen?'
  ["Cuckoo of Heaven,
    How long am I to live?"]

Of King Solomon we are told: "He conversed longest with the birds, both
on account of their delicious language, which he knew as well as his
own, as also for the beautiful proverbs that are current among them."
The interpretation of the songs of the various birds is given as

The cook: "Ye thoughtless men, remember your Creator."
The dove: "All things pass away; Allah alone is eternal."
The eagle: "Let our life be ever so long, yet it must end in death."
The hoopoo: "He that shows no mercy, shall not obtain mercy."
The kata: "Whosoever can keep silence goes through life most securely."
The nightingale: "Contentment is the greatest happiness."
The peacock: "As thou judgest, so shalt thou be judged."
The pelican: "Blessed be Allah in Heaven and Earth."
The raven: "The farther from mankind, the pleasanter."
The swallow: "Do good, for you shall be rewarded hereafter."
The syrdak: "Turn to Allah, O ye sinners."
The turtle-dove: "It were better for many a creature had it never been

The King, it appears, chose the hoopoo and the cock for his companions,
and appointed the doves to dwell in the temple which he was to erect
(547. 200, 201). In fairy-tale and folk-lore bird-speech constantly
appears. A good example is the story "Wat man warm kann, wenn man blot
de Vageln richti verstan deit," included by Klaus Groth in his

In the Micmac legend of the _Animal Tamers_, by collecting the
"horns" of the various animals a youthful hero comes to understand their
language (521. 347).

Longfellow, in his account of "Hiawatha's Childhood," has not forgotten
to make use of the Indian tradition of the lore of language of bird and
of beast possessed by the child:--

  "Then the little Hiawatha
  Learned of every bird its language,
  Learned their names and all their secrets,
  How they built their nests in summer,
  Where they hid themselves in winter,
  Talked with them whene'er he met them,
  Called them 'Hiawatha's Chickens.'

  "Of all the beasts he learned the language,
  Learned their names and all their secrets,
  How the beavers built their lodges,
  Where the squirrels hid their acorns,
  How the reindeer ran so swiftly,
  Why the rabbit was so timid,
  Talked with them whene'er he met them,
  Called them 'Hiawatha's Brothers.'"

In the Middle Ages the understanding of the language of birds, their
_Latin_, as it was called, ranked as the highest achievement of
human learning, the goal of wisdom and knowledge, and the thousand
rhyming questions asked of birds by children to-day are evidence of a
time when communication with them was deemed possible. Some remembrance
of this also lingers in not a few of the lullabies and nursery-songs of
a type corresponding to the following from Schleswig-Holstein:--

  "Hör mal, lütje Kind
  Wo düt lütje Vagel singt
  Baben in de Hai!
  Loop, lüt Kind, un hal mi dat lüt Ei."

Among the child-loving Eskimo we find many tales in which children and
animals are associated; very common are stories of children
metamorphosed into birds and beasts. Turner has obtained several legends
of this sort from the Eskimo of the Ungava district in Labrador. In one
of these, wolves are the gaunt and hungry children of a woman who had
not wherewithal to feed her numerous progeny, and so they were turned
into ravening beasts of prey; in another the raven and the loon were
children, whom their father sought to paint, and the loon's spots are
evidence of the attempt to this day; in a third the sea-pigeons or
guillemots are children who were changed into these birds for having
scared away some seals. The prettiest story, however, is that of the
origin of the swallows: Once there were some children who were
wonderfully wise, so wise indeed that they came to be called
_zulugagnak_, "like the raven," a bird that knows the past and the
future. One day they were playing on the edge of a cliff near the
village, and building toy-houses, when they were changed into birds.
They did not forget their childish occupation, however, and, even to
this day, the swallows come to the cliff to build their nests or houses
of mud,--"even the raven does not molest them, and Eskimo children love
to watch them" (544. 262, 263). From time immemorial have the life and
actions of the brute creation been associated with the first steps of
education and learning in the child.



  The mother's heart is the child's school-room.--_Henry Ward

  The father is known from the child.--_German Proverb_.

  Learn young, learn fair,
  Learn auld, learn mair.
  --_Scotch Proverb._

  We bend the tree when it is young.--_Bulgarian Proverb_.

  Fools and bairns should na see things half done.
  --_Scotch Proverb_.

  No one is born master.--_Italian Proverb_.

_Mother as Teacher_.

_Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu_ is a favourite
dictum of philosophy; primitive peoples might, perhaps, be credited with
a somewhat different crystallization of thought: _nihil est in puero
quod non prius in parenti_, "nothing is in the child which was not
before in the parent," for belief in prenatal influence of parent upon
child is widely prevalent. The following remarks, which were written of
the semi-civilized peoples of Annam and Tonquin, may stand, with
suitable change of terms, for very many barbarous and savage races:--

"The education of the children begins even before they come into the
world. The prospective mother is at once submitted to a kind of material
and moral _regime_ sanctioned by custom. Gross viands are removed
from her table, and her slightest movements are regarded that they may
be regular and majestic. She is expected to listen to the reading of
good authors, to music and moral chants, and to attend learned
societies, in order that she may fortify her mind by amusements of an
elevated character. And she endeavours, by such discipline, to assure to
the child whom she is about to bring into the world, intelligence,
docility, and fitness for the duties imposed by social life" (518. XXXI.

Among primitive peoples these ceremonies, dietings, doctorings,
tabooings, number legion, as may be read in Ploss and Zmigrodzki.

The influence of the mother upon her child, beginning long before birth,
continued in some parts of the world until long after puberty. The
Spartan mothers even preserved "a power over their sons when arrived at
manhood," and at the puberty-dance, by which the Australian leaves
childhood behind to enter upon man's estate, his significant cry is: "My
mother sees me no more!" (398. 153). Among the Chinese, "at the ceremony
of going out of childhood, the passage from boyhood into manhood, the
goddess of children 'Mother,' ceases to have the superintendence of the
boy or girl, and the individual comes under the government of the gods
in general."

That women are teachers born, even the most uncultured of human races
have not failed to recognize, and the folk-faith in their ministrations
is world-wide and world-old; for, as Mrs. Browning tells us:--

  "Women know
  The way to rear up children (to be just);
  They know a simple, merry, tender knack
  Of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes,
  And stringing pretty words that make no sense,
  And kissing full sense into empty words;
  Which things are corals to cut life upon,
  Although such trifles."

Intellectually, as well as physically,--as the etymology of the name
seems to indicate,--the mother is the "former" of her child. As Henry
Ward Beecher has well said, "the mother's heart is the child's
school-room." Well might the Egyptian mother-goddess say (167. 261): "I
am the mother who shaped thy beauties, who suckled thee with milk; I
give thee with my milk festal things, that penetrate thy limbs with
life, strength, and youth; I make thee to become the--great ruler of
Egypt, lord of the space which the sun circles round." In the land of
the Pharaohs they knew in some dim fashion that "the hand that rocks the
cradle is the hand that rules the world."

The extensive rôle of the mother, as a teacher of the practical arts of
life, may be seen from the book of Professor Mason (113). Language,
religion, the social arts, house-building, skin-dressing, weaving,
spinning, animal-domestication, agriculture, are, with divers primitive
peoples, since they have in great part originated with her, or been
promoted chiefly by her efforts, left to woman as teacher and
instructor, and well has the mother done her work all over the globe.

The function of the mother as priestess--for woman has been the
preserver, as, to so large an extent, she has been the creator, of
religion--has been exercised age after age, and among people after
people. Henry Ward Beecher has said: "Every mother is a priestess
ordained by God Himself," and Professor Mason enlarges the same thought:
"Scarcely has the infant mind begun to think, ere this perpetual
priestess lights the fires of reverence and keeps them ever burning,
like a faithful vestal" (112. 12).

Though women and mothers have often been excluded from the public or the
secret ceremonials and observations of religion, the household in
primitive and in modern times has been the temple, of whose
_penetralia_ they alone have been the ministers.


Tarde, in his monograph on the "Laws of Imitation," has shown the great
influence exerted among peoples of all races, of all grades and forms of
culture, by imitation, conscious or unconscious,--a factor of the
highest importance even at the present day and among those communities
of men most advanced and progressive. Speaking a little too broadly,
perhaps, he says (541. 15):--

"All the resemblances, of social origin, noticed in the social world are
the direct or indirect result of imitation in all its forms,--custom,
fashion, sympathy, obedience, instruction, education, naive or
deliberate imitation. Hence the excellence of that modern method which
explains doctrines or institutions by their history. This tendency can
only be generalized. Great inventors and great geniuses do sometimes
stumble upon the same thing together, but these coincidences are very
rare. And when they do really occur, they always have their origin in a
fund of common instruction upon which, independent of one another, the
two authors of the same invention have drawn; and this fund consists of
a mass of traditions of the past, of experiments, rude or more or less
arranged, and transmitted imitatively by language, the great vehicle of
all imitations."

In her interesting article on "Imitation in Children," Miss Haskell
observes: "That the imitative faculty is what makes the human being
educable, that it is what has made progressive civilization possible,
has always been known by philosophical educators. The energy of the
child must pass from potentiality to actuality, and it does so by the
path of _imitation_ because this path offers the least resistance
or the greatest attraction, or perhaps because there is no other road.
Whatever new and striking things he sees in the movements or condition
of objects about him, provided he already has the experience necessary
to apperceive this particular thing, he imitates" (260. 31).

In the pedagogy of primitive peoples imitation has an extensive
_rôle_ to play. Of the Twana Indians, of the State of Washington,
Rev. Mr. Eells observes: "Children are taught continually, from youth
until grown, to mimic the occupations of their elders." They have games
of ball, jumping and running races, and formerly "the boys played at
shooting with bows and arrows at a mark, and with spears, throwing at a
mark, with an equal number of children on each side, and sometimes the
older ones joined in." Now, however, "the'boys mimic their seniors in
the noise and singing and gambling, but without the gambling." The girls
play with dolls, and sometimes "the girls and boys both play in canoes,
and stand on half of a small log, six feet long and a foot wide, and
paddle around in the water with a small stick an inch in thickness; and,
in fact, play at most things which they see their seniors do, both
whites and Indians" (437. 90, 91). Concerning the Seminoles of Florida,
we are told: "The baby, well into the world, learns very quickly that he
is to make his own way through it as best he may. His mother is prompt
to nourish him, and solicitous in her care for him if he falls ill; but,
as far as possible, she goes her own way and leaves the little fellow to
go his." Very early in life the child learns to help and to imitate its
elders. "No small amount," Mr. MacCauley tells us, "of the labour in a
Seminole household is done by children, even as young as four years of
age. They can stir the soup while it is boiling; they can aid in
kneading the dough for bread; they can wash the 'koonti' root, and even
pound it; they can watch and replenish the fire; they contribute in this
and many other small ways to the necessary work of the home" (496. 497,

Of the Indians of British Guiana, Mr. im Thurn reports: "As soon as the
children can run about, they are left almost to themselves; or, rather,
they begin to mimic their parents. As with the adults, so with the
children. Just as the grown-up woman works incessantly, while the men
alternately idle and hunt, so the boys run wild, playing not such
concerted games as in other parts of the world more usually form child's
play, but only with mimic bows and arrows; but the girls, as soon as
they can walk, begin to help the older women. Even the youngest girl can
peel a few cassava roots, watch a pot on the fire, or collect and carry
home a few sticks of firewood. The games of the boy are all such as
train him to fish and hunt when he grows up; the girl's occupations
teach her woman's work" (477. 219). The children imitate their elders in
other ways also, for in nearly every Indian house are to be seen toy
vessels of clay; for "while the Indian women of Guiana are shaping the
clay, their children, imitating them, make small pots and goglets" (477.
298). And in like manner have been born, no doubt, among other peoples,
some of the strange freaks of art which puzzle the _connoisseurs_
in the museums of Europe and America.

Mr. Powers, speaking of the domestic economy of the Achomåwi Indians of
California, says: "An Achomåwi mother seldom teaches her daughters any
of the arts of barbaric housekeeping before their marriage. They learn
them by imitation and experiment after they grow old enough to perceive
the necessity thereof" (519. 271). This peculiar neglect, however, is
not entirely absent from our modern civilization, for until very
recently no subject has been so utterly overlooked as the proper
training of young girls for their future duties as mothers and
housekeepers. The Achomåwi, curiously enough, have the following custom,
which helps, no doubt, the wife whose education has been so imperfect:
"The parents are expected to establish a young couple in their lodge,
provide them with the needful basketry, and furnish them with cooked
food for some months, which indulgent parents sometimes continue for a
year or even longer; so that the young people have a more real honeymoon
than is vouchsafed to most civilized people."

Among the Battas of Sumatra, "It is one of the morning duties of women
and girls, even down to children of four and five years old, to bring
drinking-water in the _gargitis_, a water-vessel made of a thick
stalk of bamboo. The size and strength of growing girls are generally
measured by the number of _gargitis_ they can carry" (518. XXII.

Of the Kaffir children Theal informs us: "At a very early age they
commence trials of skill against each other in throwing knobbed sticks
and imitation assegais. They may often be seen enjoying this exercise in
little groups, those of the same age keeping together, for there is no
greater tyrant in the world than a big Kaffir boy over his younger
fellows; when above nine or ten years old they practise sham-fighting
with sticks; an imitation hunt is another of their boyish diversions"
(543. 220).

Among the Apaches, as we learn from Reclus: "The child remains with its
mother until it can pluck certain fruits for itself, and has caught a
rat by its own unaided efforts. After this exploit, it goes and comes as
it lists, is free and independent, master of its civil and political
rights, and soon lost in the main body of the horde" (523. 131).

On the Andaman Islands, "little boys hunt out swarms of bees in the
woods and drive them away by fire. They are also expected regularly to
collect wood." From their tenth year they are "accustomed to use little
bows and arrows, and often attain great skill in shooting." The girls
"seek among the coral-reefs and in the swamps to catch little fish in
hand-nets." The Solomon Islands boy, as soon as he can walk a little,
goes along with his elders to hunt and fish (326. I. 6). Among the
Somali, of northeastern Africa, the boys are given small spears when ten
or twelve years old and are out guarding the milk-camels (481 (1891).

Of the Eskimo of Baffin Land, Dr. Boas tells us that the children, "when
about twelve years old, begin to help their parents; the girls sewing
and preparing skins, the boys accompanying their fathers in hunting
expeditions" (402. 566). Mr. Powers records that he has seen a Wailakki
Indian boy of fourteen "run a rabbit to cover in ten minutes, split a
stick fine at one end, thrust it down the hole, twist it into its scut,
and pull it out alive" (519. 118).

Among the games and amusements of the Andamanese children, of whom he
says "though not borrowed from aliens, their pastimes, in many
instances, bear close resemblance to those in vogue among children in
this and other lands; notably is this the case with regard to those
known to us as blind-man's buff, leap-frog, and hide-and-seek,"--Mr.
Man enumerates the following: _mock pig-hunting_ (played after
dark); _mock turtle-catching_ (played in the sea); going after the
Evil Spirit of the Woods; swinging by means of long stout creepers;
swimming-races (sometimes canoe-races); pushing their way with rapidity
through the jungle; throwing objects upwards, or skimming through the
air; playing at "duck-and-drakes"; shooting at moving objects; wrestling
on the sand; hunting small crabs and fish and indulging in sham
banquets, comparable to the "doll's feast" with us; making miniature
canoes and floating them about in the water (498. 165).

_Education of Boys and Girls._

With the Dakota Indians, according to Mr. Riggs, the grandfather and
grandmother are often the principal teachers of the child. Under the
care of the father and grandfather the boy learns to shoot, hunt, and
fish, is told tales of war and daring exploits, and "when he is fifteen
or sixteen joins the first war-party and comes back with an eagle
feather in his head, if he is not killed and scalped by the enemy."
Among the amusements he indulges in are foot-races, horse-racing,
ball-playing, etc. Another branch of his education is thus described:
"In the long winter evenings, while the fire burns brightly in the
centre of the lodge, and the men are gathered in to smoke, he hears the
folk-lore and legends of his people from the lips of the older men. He
learns to sing the love-songs and the war-songs of the generations gone
by. There is no new path for him to tread, but he follows in the old
ways. He becomes a Dakota of the Dakota. His armour is consecrated by
sacrifices and offerings and vows. He sacrifices and prays to the stone
god, and learns to hold up the pipe to the so-called Great Spirit. He is
killed and made alive again, and thus is initiated into the mysteries
and promises of the Mystery Dance. He becomes a successful hunter and
warrior, and what he does not know is not worth knowing for a Dakota.
His education is finished. If he has not already done it, he can now
demand the hand of one of the beautiful maidens of the village" (524.
209, 210).

Under the care and oversight of the mother and grandmother the girl is
taught the elements of household economy, industrial art, and
agriculture. Mr. Biggs thus outlines the early education of woman among
these Indians: "She plays with her 'made child,' or doll, just as
children in other lands do. Very soon she learns to take care of the
baby; to watch over it in the lodge, or carry it on her back while the
mother is away for wood or dressing buffalo-robes. Little girl as she
is, she is sent to the brook or lake for water. She has her little
work-bag with awl and sinew, and learns to make small moccasins as her
mother makes large ones. Sometimes she goes with her mother to the wood
and brings home her little bundle of sticks. When the camp moves, she
has her small pack as her mother carries the large one, and this pack is
sure to grow larger as her years increase. When the corn is planting,
the little girl has her part to perform. If she cannot use the hoe yet,
she can at least gather off the old corn-stalks. Then the garden is to
be watched while the god-given maize is growing. And when the
harvesting comes, the little girl is glad for the corn-roasting." And so
her young life runs on. She learns bead-work and ornamenting with
porcupine quills, embroidering with ribbons, painting, and all the arts
of personal adornment, which serve as attractions to the other sex. When
she marries, her lot and her life (Mr. Riggs says) are hard, for woman
is much less than man with these Dakotas (524. 210).

More details of girl-life among savage and primitive peoples are to be
found in the pages of Professor Mason (113. 207-211). In America, the
education varied from what the little girl could pick up at her mother's
side between her third and thirteenth years, to the more elaborate
system of instruction in ancient Mexico, where, "annexed to the temples
were large buildings used as seminaries for girls, a sort of aboriginal
Wellesley or Vassar" (113 208).

_Games and Plays._

In the multifarious games of children, echoes, imitations, re-renderings
of the sober life of their elders and of their ancestors of the long ago,
recur again and again. The numerous love games, which Mr. Newell
(313. 39-62) and Miss Gomme (243) enumerate, such as "Knights of
Spain," "Three kings," "Here comes a Duke a-roving," "Tread, tread the
Green Grass," "I'll give to you a Paper of Pins," "There she stands a
lovely Creature," "Green Grow the Rushes, O!" "The Widow with Daughters
to marry," "Philander's March," "Marriage," etc., corresponding to many
others all over the globe, evidence the social instincts of child-hood
as well as the imitative tendencies of youth.

Under "Playing at Work" (313. 80-92), Mr. Newell has classed a large
number of children's games and songs, some of which now find their
representatives in the kindergarten, this education of the child by
itself having been so modified as to form part of the infantile
curriculum of study. Among such games are: "Threading the Needle," "Draw
a Bucket of Water," "Here I Brew and here I Bake," "Here we come
gathering Nuts of May," "When I was a Shoemaker," "Do, do, pity my
Case," "As we go round the Mulberry Bush," "Who'll be the Binder?"
"Oats, Pease, Beans, and Barley grows." Mr. Newell includes in this
category, also, that well-known dance, the "Virginia Reel," which he
interprets as an imitation of weaving, something akin to the
"Hemp-dressers' Dance," of the time of George III., in England.

In a recent interesting and valuable essay, "Education by Plays and
Games," by Mr. G. E. Johnson, of Clark University,--an effort "to
present somewhat more correctly than has been done before, the
educational value of play, and to suggest some practical applications to
the work of education in the grades above the kindergarten,"--we have
presented to us a list of some five hundred games, classified according
to their value for advancing mental or physical education, for
cultivating and strengthening the various faculties of mind and body.
These games have also been arranged by Mr. Johnson, into such classes
and divisions as might be held to correspond to the needs and
necessities of the pupils in each of the eight grades above the
kindergarten. Of the educational value of play and of "playing at work,"
there can be no doubt in the mind of any one at all acquainted with the
history of the individual and the history of the race. As Mr. Johnson
justly observes (269.100): "The field of the study of play is very wide;
the plays are well-nigh infinite, and as varied as life itself. No one
can estimate the value of them. Given right toys and surroundings, the
young child has an almost perfect school. It is marvellous how well he
learns, Preyer does not overestimate the facts when he says the child in
the first three or four years of his life learns as much as the student
in his entire university course. In the making of mud pies and doll
dresses, sand-pile farms and miniature roads, tiny dams and
water-wheels, whittled-out boats, sleds, dog-harnesses, and a thousand
and one other things, the child receives an accumulation of facts, a
skill of hand, a trueness of eye, a power of attention and quickness of
perception; and in flying kites, catching trout, in pressing leaves and
gathering stones, in collecting stamps, and eggs, and butterflies, a
culture also, seldom appreciated by the parent or teacher."

Upon the banner of the youthful hosts might well be inscribed _in hoc
ludo vincemus_. Yet there is danger that the play-theory may be
carried to excess. Mr. James L. Hughes, discussing "The Educational
Value of Play and the Recent Play-Movement in Germany," remarks: "The
Germans had the philosophy of play, the English had an intuitive love of
play, and love is a greater impelling force than philosophy. English
young men never played in order to expand their lungs, to increase their
circulation, to develop their muscles in power and agility, to improve
their figures, to add grace to their bearing, to awaken and refine their
intellectual powers, or to make them manly, courageous, and chivalrous.
They played enthusiastically for the mere love of play, and all these,
and other advantages resulted from their play" (265. 328).

Swimming is an art soon learned by the children of some primitive races.
Mr. Man says of the Andaman Islanders: "With the exception of some of
the ê·rem-tâg·a-(inlanders), a knowledge of the art of swimming is
common to members of both sexes; the _children_ even, learning
almost as soon as they can run, speedily acquire great proficiency"
(498. 47).


With some primitive peoples the ideas as to language-study are pretty
much on a par with those prevalent in Europe at a date not so very
remote from the present. Of the Káto Pomo Indians of California, Mr.
Powers remarks: "Like the Kai Pomo, their northern neighbours, they
forbid their squaws from studying languages--which is about the only
accomplishment possible to them save dancing--principally, it is
believed, in order to prevent them from gadding about and forming
acquaintances in neighbouring valleys, for there is small virtue among
the unmarried of either sex. But the men pay considerable attention to
linguistic studies, and there is seldom one who cannot speak most of the
Pomo dialects within a day's journey of his ancestral valley. The
chiefs, especially, devote no little care to the training of their sons
as polyglot diplomatists; and Robert White affirms that they frequently
send them to reside several months with the chiefs of contiguous valleys
to acquire the dialects there in vogue" (519. 150).

Nevertheless, as Professor Mason observes, among primitive races,
woman's share in the "invention, dissemination, conservation, and
metamorphosis of language" has been very great, and she has been _par
excellence_ the teacher of language, as indeed she is to-day in our
schools when expression and _savoir faire_ in speech, rather than
deep philological learning and dry grammatical analysis, have been the
object of instruction.


Much has been said and written about the wonderful knowledge of
geography and topography possessed by the Indian of America, and by
other primitive peoples as well. The following passage from Mr. Powers'
account of the natives of California serves to explain some of this
(519. 109):--

"Besides the coyote-stories with which gifted squaws amuse their
children, and which are common throughout this region, there prevails
among the Mattoal a custom which might almost be dignified with the name
of geographical study. In the first place, it is necessary to premise
that the boundaries of all the tribes on Humboldt Bay, Eel River, Van
Dusen's Fork, and in fact everywhere, are marked with the greatest
precision, being defined by certain creeks, cañons, bowlders,
conspicuous trees, springs, etc., each one of which objects has its own
individual name. It is perilous for an Indian to be found outside of his
tribal boundaries, wherefore it stands him well in hand to make himself
acquainted with the same early in life. Accordingly, the squaws teach
these things to their children in a kind of sing-song not greatly unlike
that which was the national _furore_ some time ago in rural
singing-schools, wherein they melodiously chanted such pleasing items of
information as this: 'California. Sacramento, on the Sacramento River.'
Over and over, time and again, they rehearse all these bowlders, etc.,
describing each minutely and by name, with its surroundings. Then when
the children are old enough, they take them around to beat the bounds
like Bumble the Beadle; and so wonderful is the Indian memory naturally,
and so faithful has been their instruction, that the little shavers
generally recognize the objects from the descriptions of them previously
given by their mothers. If an Indian knows but little of this great
world more than pertains to boundary bush and bowlder, he knows his own
small fighting-ground infinitely better than any topographical engineer
can learn it."

Mr. Powers' reference to "beating the bounds like Bumble the Beadle" is
an apt one. Mr. Frederick Sessions has selected as one of his
_Folk-Lore Topics_ the subject of "Beating the Bounds" (352), and
in his little pamphlet gives us much interesting information concerning
the part played by children in these performances. The author tells us:
"One of the earliest of my childish pleasures was seeing the Mayor and
Corporation, preceded by Sword-bearer, Beadles, and Blue Coat School
boys, going in procession from one city boundary-stone to another,
across the meadows and the river, or over hedges and gardens, or
anything else to which the perambulated border-line took them. They were
followed along the route by throngs of holiday makers. Many of the
crowd, and all the Blue boys, were provided with willow-wands,
_peeled_, if I remember rightly, with which each boundary mark was
well flogged. The youngest boys were bumped against the 'city stones.'"
In the little town of Charlbury in Oxfordshire, "the perambulations seem
to have been performed mostly by boys, accompanied by one or more of
their seniors." At Houghton, a village near St. Ives in Huntingdonshire:
"The bounds are still beaten triennially. They are here marked by holes
in some places, and by stones or trees in others. The procession starts
at one of the holes. Each new villager present is instructed in the
position of this corner of the boundary by having his head forcibly
thrust into the hole, while he has to repeat a sort of mumbo-jumbo
prayer, and receives three whacks with a shovel. He pays a shilling for
his 'footing' (boys only pay sixpence), and then the forty or fifty
villagers march off to the opposite corner and repeat the process,
except the monetary part, and regale themselves with bread and cheese
and beer, paid for by the farmers who now occupy any portion of the old
common lands."

In Russia, before the modern system of land-registration came into
vogue, "all the boys of adjoining Cossack village communes were
'collected and driven like flocks of sheep to the frontier, whipped at
each boundary-stone, and if, in after years two whipped lads, grown into
men, disputed as to the precise spot at which they had been castigated,
then the oldest inhabitant carrying a sacred picture from the church,
led the perambulations, and acted as arbitrator."

Here also ought to be mentioned perhaps, as somewhat akin and
reminiscent of like practices among primitive peoples, "the _blason
populaire_ (as it is neatly called in French), in which the
inhabitants of each district or city are nicely ticketed off and
distinguished by means of certain abnormalities of feature or form, or
certain mental peculiarities attributed to them" (204.19). In parts of
Hungary and Transylvania a somewhat similar practice is in vogue (392
(1892). 128).


Some Indian children have almost the advantages of the modern home in
the way of story-telling. Clark informs us (420.109):--

"Some tribes have regular story-tellers, men who have devoted a great
deal of time to learning the myths and stories of their people, and who
possess, in addition to a good memory, a vivid imagination. The mother
sends for one of these, and, having prepared a feast for him, she and
her little 'brood,' who are curled up near her, await the fairy stories
of the dreamer, who, after his feast and smoke, entertains them for
hours. Many of these fanciful sketches or visions are interesting and
beautiful in their rich imagery, and have been at times given erroneous
positions in ethnological data."

Knortz refers in glowing terms to the _adisoke-winini_, or
"storyteller" of the Chippeway Indians, those gifted men, who entertain
their fellows with the tales and legends of the race, and who are not
mere reciters, but often poets and transformers as well (_Skizzen_,

So, too, among the Andaman Islanders, "certain mythic legends are
related to the young by _okopai-ads_ [shamans], parents, and
others, which refer to the supposed adventures or history of remote
ancestors, and though the recital not unfrequently evokes much mirth,
they are none the less accepted as veracious" (498. 95).


Among some of the native tribes of California we meet with
_i-wa-musp_, or "men-women" (519. 132). Among the Yuki, for
example, there were men who dressed and acted like women, and "devoted
themselves to the instruction of the young by the narration of legends
and moral tales." Some of these, Mr. Powers informs us, "have been known
to shut themselves up in the assembly-hall for the space of a month,
with brief intermissions, living the life of a hermit, and spending the
whole time in rehearsing the tribal-history in a sing-song monotone to
all who chose to listen."

Somewhat similar, without the hermit-life, appear to be the functions of
the orators and "prophets" of the Miwok and the peace-chiefs, or
"shell-men," of the Pomo (519. 157, 352). Of the Indians of the Pueblo
of Tehua, Mr. Lummis, in his entertaining volume of fairy-tales, says:
"There is no duty to which a Pueblo child is trained in which he has to
be content with the bare command, 'Do thus'; for each he learns a fairy-
tale designed to explain how people first came to know that it was right
to do thus, and detailing the sad results which befell those who did
otherwise." The old men appear to be the storytellers, and their tales
are told in a sort of blank verse (302. 5).

Mr. Grinnell, in his excellent book about the Blackfeet,--one of the
best books ever written about the Indians,--gives some interesting
details of child-life. Children are never whipped, and "are instructed
in manners as well as in other more general and more important matters."
Among other methods of instruction we find that "men would make long
speeches to groups of boys playing in the camps, telling them what they
ought to do to be successful in life," etc. (464. 188-191).

Of the Delaware Indians we are told that "when a mere boy the Indian lad
would be permitted to sit in the village councilhouse, and hear the
assembled wisdom of the village or his tribe discuss the affairs of
state and expound the meaning of the _keekg_' (beads composing the
wampum belts).... In this way he early acquired maturity of thought, and
was taught the traditions of his people, and the course of conduct
calculated to win him the praise of his fellows" (516. 43). This reminds
us of the Roman senator who had his child set upon his knee during the
session of that great legislative and deliberative body.

_Playthings and Dolls._

As Professor Mason has pointed out, the cradle is often the "play-house"
of the child, and is decked out to that end in a hundred ways (306.
162). Of the Sioux cradle, Catlin says:--"A broad hoop of elastic wood
passes around in front of the child's face to protect it in case of a
fall, from the front of which is suspended a little toy of exquisite
embroidery for the child to handle and amuse itself with. To this and
other little trinkets hanging in front of it, there are attached many
little tinselled and tinkling things of the brightest colours to amuse
both the eyes and the ears of the child. While travelling on horseback,
the arms of the child are fastened under the bandages, so as not to be
endangered if the cradle falls, and when at rest they are generally
taken out, allowing the infant to reach and amuse itself with the little
toys and trinkets that are placed before it and within its reach" (306.
202). In like manner are "playthings of various kinds" hung to the
awning of the birch-bark cradles found in the Yukon region of Alaska. Of
the Nez Percé, we read: "To the hood are attached medicine-bags, bits of
shell, haliotis perhaps, and the whole artistic genius of the mother is
in play to adorn her offspring." The old chronicler Lafiteau observed of
the Indians of New France: "They put over that half-circle [at the top
of the cradle] little bracelets of porcelain and other little trifles
that the Latins call _crepundia_, which serve as an ornament and as
playthings to divert the child" (306. 167, 187, 207).

And so is it elsewhere in the world. Some of the beginnings of art in
the race are due to the mother's instinctive attempts to please the eyes
and busy the hands of her tender offspring. The children of primitive
peoples have their dolls and playthings as do those of higher races. In
an article descriptive of the games and amusements of the Ute Indians,
we read: "The boy remains under maternal care until he is old enough to
learn to shoot and engage in manly sports and enjoyments. Indian
children play, laugh, cry, and act like white children, and make their
own play-things from which they derive as much enjoyment as white
children" (480. IV. 238).

Of the Seminole Indians of Florida, Mr. MacCauley says that among the
children's games are skipping and dancing, leap-frog, teetotums,
building a merry-go-round, carrying a small make-believe rifle of stick,
etc. They also "sit around a small piece of land, and, sticking blades
of grass into the ground, name it a 'corn-field,'" and "the boys kill
small birds in the bush with their bows and arrows, and call it
'turkey-hunting.'" Moreover, they "have also dolls (bundles of rags,
sticks with bits of cloth wrapped around them, etc.), and build houses
for them which they call 'camps'" (496. 506).

Of the Indians of the western plains, Colonel Dodge says: "The little
girls are very fond of dolls, which their mothers make and dress with
considerable skill and taste. Their baby houses are miniature teepees,
and they spend as much time and take as much pleasure in such play as
white girls" (432. 190). Dr. Boas tells us concerning the Eskimo of
Baffin Land: "Young children are always carried in their mothers' hoods,
but when about a year and a half old they are allowed to play on the
bed, and are only carried by their mothers when they get too
mischievous." The same authority also says: "Young children play with,
toys, sledges, kayaks, boats, bow and arrows, and dolls. The last are
made in the same way by all the tribes, a wooden body being clothed with
scraps of deerskin cut in the same way as the clothing of the men" (402.
568, 571). Mr. Murdoch has described at some length the dolls and toys
of the Point Barrow Eskimo. He remarks that "though several dolls and
various suits of miniature clothing were made and brought over for sale,
they do not appear to be popular with the little girls." He did not see
a single girl playing with a doll, and thinks the articles collected may
have been made rather for sale than otherwise. Of the boys, Mr. Murdoch
says: "As soon as a boy is able to walk, his father makes him a little
bow suited to his strength, with blunt arrows, with which he plays with
the other boys, shooting at marks--for instance the fetal reindeer
brought home from the spring hunt--till he is old enough to shoot small
birds and lemmings" (514. 380, 383).

In a recent extensive and elaborately illustrated article, Dr. J. W.
Fewkes has described the dolls of the Tusayan Indians (one of the Pueblo
tribes). Of the _tihus_, or carved wooden dolls, the author says
(226. 45): "These images are commonly mentioned by American visitors to
the Tusayan Pueblos as idols, but there is abundant evidence to show
that they are at present used simply as children's playthings, which are
made for that purpose and given to the girls with that thought in mind."
Attention is called to the difficulty of drawing the line between a doll
and an idol among primitive peoples, the connection of dolls with
religion, psychological evidence of which lingers with us to-day in the
persistent folk-etymology which connects _doll_ with _idol_.
The following remarks of Dr. Fewkes are significant: "These figurines
[generally images of deities or mythological personages carved in true
archaic fashion] are generally made by participants in the
_Ni-mán-Ka-tci-na_, and are presented to the children in July or
August at the time of the celebration of the farewell of the
_Ka-tci'-nas_ [supernatural intercessors between men and gods]. It
is not rare to see the little girls after the presentation carrying the
dolls about on their backs wrapped in their blankets in the same manner
in which babies are carried by their mothers or sisters. Those dolls
which are more elaborately made are generally hung up as ornaments in
the rooms, but never, so far as I have investigated the subject, are
they worshipped. The readiness with which they are sold for a proper
remuneration shows that they are not regarded as objects of reverence."
But, as Dr. Fewkes himself adds, "It by no means follows that they may
not be copies of images which have been worshipped, although they now
have come to have a strictly secular use." Among some peoples, perhaps,
the dolls, images of deities of the past, or even of the present, may
have been used to impart the fundamentals of theology and miracle-story,
and the play-house of the children may have been at times a sort of
religious kindergarten of a primitive type. Worthy of note in this
connection is the statement of Castren that "the Finns manufacture a
kind of dolls, or _paras_, out of a child's cap filled with tow and
stuck at the end of a rod. The fetich thus made is carried nine times
round the church, with the cry 'synny para' (Para be born) repeated
every time to induce a _hal'tia_--that is to say, a spirit--to
enter into it" (388. 108).

A glance into St. Nicholas, or at the returns to the syllabus on dolls
sent out by President Hall, is sufficient to indicate the farreaching
associations of the subject, while the doll-congress of St. Petersburg
has had its imitators both in Europe and America. A bibliography of
doll-poems, doll-descriptions, doll-parties, doll-funerals, and the like
would be a welcome addition to the literature of dolls, while a
doll-museum of extended scope would be at once entertaining and of great
scientific value.

The familiar phrase "to cry for the moon" corresponds to the French
"prendre la lune avec ses dents." In illustration of this proverbial
expression, which Rabelais used in the form _Je ne suis point clerc
pour prendre la lune avec les dents_, Loubens tells the amusing story
of a servant who, when upbraided by the parents for not giving to a
child what it wanted and for which it had been long crying, answered:
"You must give it him yourself. A quarter-of-an-hour ago, he saw the
moon at the bottom of a bucket of water, and wants me to give it him.
That's all." (_Prov. et locut. franç_., p. 225.)

To-day children cry for the moon in vain, but 'twas not ever thus. In
payment for the church, which King Olaf wanted to have built,--a task
impossible, the saint thought,--the giant demanded "the sun and moon, or
St. Olaf himself." Soon the building was almost completed, and St. Olaf
was in great perplexity at the unexpected progress of the work. As he
was wandering about "he heard a child cry inside a mountain, and a
giant-woman hush it with these words: 'Hush! hush! to-morrow comes thy
father Wind-and-Weather home, bringing both sun and moon, or saintly
Olaf's self.'" Had not the king overheard this, and, by learning the
giant's name, been enabled to crush him, the child could have had his
playthings the next day.

In the course of an incarnation-myth of the raven among the Haida
Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands, Mr. Mackenzie tells us (497.

"In time the woman bore a son, a remarkably small child. This child
incessantly cried for the moon to play with, thus--_Koong-ah-ah,
Koong-ah-ah_ ('the moon, the moon'). The spirit-chief, in order to
quiet the child, after carefully closing all apertures of the house,
produced the moon, and gave it to the child to play with." The result
was that the raven (the child) ran off with the moon, and the people in
consequence were put to no little inconvenience. But by and by the raven
broke the original moon in two, threw half up into the sky, which became
the sun, while of the other half he made the moon, and of the little
bits, which were left in the breaking, all the stars.

In the golden age of the gods, the far-off _juventus mundi_, the
parts of the universe were the playthings, the _Spielzeug_ of the
divine infants, just as peasants and human infants figure in the
folk-tales as the toys of giants and Brobdingnagians. Indeed, some of
the phenomena of nature and their peculiarities are explained by
barbarous or semi-barbarous peoples as the result of the games and
sports of celestial and spiritual children.

With barbarous or semi-civilized peoples possessing flocks and herds of
domesticated animals the child is early made acquainted with their
habits and uses. Regarding the Kaffirs of South Africa Theal says that
it is the duty of the young boys to attend to the calves in the kraal,
and "a good deal of time is passed in training them to run and to obey
signals made by whistling. The boys mount them when they are eighteen
months or two years old, and race about upon their backs" (543. 220). In
many parts of the world the child has played an important role as
shepherd and watcher of flocks and herds, and the shepherd-boy has often
been called to high places in the state, and has even ascended the
thrones of great cities and empires, ecclesiastical as well as


In his little book on the philosophy of clothing Dr. Schurtz has given
us an interesting account of the development and variation of external
ornamentation and dress among the various races, especially the negro
peoples of Africa. The author points out that with not a few primitive
tribes only married persons wear clothes, girls and boys, young women
and men even, going about _in puris naturalibus_ (530. 13).
Everywhere the woman is better clothed than the girl, and in some parts
of Africa, as the ring is with us, so are clothes a symbol of marriage.
Among the Balanta, for example, in Portuguese Senegambia, when a man
marries he gives his wife a dress, and so long as this remains whole,
the marriage-union continues in force. On the coast of Sierra Leone, the
expression "he gave her a dress," intimates that the groom has married a
young girl (530. 14, 43-49).

Often, with many races the access of puberty leads to the adoption of
clothing and to a refinement of dress and personal adornment. A relic of
this remains, as Dr. Schurtz points out, in the leaving off of
knickerbockers and the adoption of "long dresses," by the young people
in our civilized communities of to-day (530. 13).

With others the clothing of the young is of the most primitive type, and
children in very many cases go about absolutely naked.

That the development of the sex-feeling, and entrance upon marriage,
have with very many peoples been the chief incitements to dress and
personal ornamentation, has been pointed out by Schurtz and others (530.

Not alone this, but, sometimes, as among the Bura Negroes of the upper
Blue Nile region, the advent of her child brings with it a modification
in the dress of the mother. With these people, young girls wear an apron
in front, married women one in front and one behind, but women who have
already had a child wear two in front, one over the other. A similar
remark applies to tattooing and kindred ornamentations of the body and
its members. Among the women of the Bajansi on the middle Congo, for
example, a certain form of tattoo indicated that the woman had borne a
child (530. 78).

Schurtz points out that the kangaroo-skin breast-covering of the
Tasmanian women, the shoulder and arm strips worn by the women of the
Monbuttu in Africa, the skin mantles of the Marutse, the thick
hip-girdle of the Tupende, and other articles of clothing of a like
nature, seem to be really survivals of devices for carrying children,
and not to have been originally intended as dress _per se_ (530.
110, 111). Thus early does childhood become a social factor.



In great states, children are always trying to remain children, and the
parents wanting to make men and women of them. In vile states, the
children are always wanting to be men and women, and the parents to keep
them children.--_Ruskin_.

Children generally hate to be idle; all the care is then that their busy
humour should be constantly employed in something of use to

  Look into our childish faces;
  See you not our willing hearts?
  Only love us--only lead us;
  Only let us know you need us,
  And we all will do our parts.--_Mary Howitt_.

[Greek: Anthropos Phusei zoon politikon] [Man is by nature a political
(social) animal].--_Aristotle_.

Never till now did young men, and almost children, take such a command
in human affairs.--_Carlyle_.

Predestination and Caste.

  "Who can tell for what high cause
  This darling of the Gods was born?"

asks the poet Marvell. But with some peoples the task of answering the
question is an easy one; for fate, or its human side, caste, has settled
the matter long before the infant comes into the world. The Chinese
philosopher, Han Wan-Kung, is cited by Legge as saying: "When Shuh-yu
was born, his mother knew, as soon as she looked at him, that he would
fall a victim to his love of bribes. When Yang sze-go was born, the
mother of Shuh-he-ang knew, as soon as she heard him cry, that he would
cause the destruction of all his kindred. When Yueh-tseaou was born,
Tzewan considered it was a great calamity, knowing that through him all
the ghosts of the Johgaou family would be famished" (487. 89).

In India, we meet with the Bidhata-Purusha, a "deity that predestines
all the events of the life of man or woman, and writes on the forehead
of the child, on the sixth day of its birth, a brief precis of them"
(426. 9). India is _par excellence_ the land of caste, but other
lands know the system that makes the man follow in his father's
footsteps, and often ignores the woman altogether, not even counting her
in the census of the people, as was formerly the case even in Japan and
China, where a girl was not worthy to be counted beside the son. Of
ancient Peru, Letourneau says: "Every male inherited his father's
profession; he was not allowed to choose another employment. By right of
birth a man was either labourer, miner, artisan, or soldier" (100. 486).
Predestination of state and condition in another world is a common
theological tenet, predestination of state and condition in this world
is a common social theory.

Vast indeed is the lore of birth-days, months and years, seasons and
skies--the fictions, myths, and beliefs of the astrologist, the
spiritualist, the fortune-teller, and the almanac-maker--which we have
inherited from those ancestors of ours, who believed in the kinship of
all things, who thought that in some way "beasts and birds, trees and
plants, the sea, the mountains, the wind, the sun, the moon, the clouds,
and the stars, day and night, the heaven and the earth, were alive and
possessed of the passions and the will they felt within themselves"
(258. 25). Here belongs a large amount of folk-lore and folk-speech
relating to the defective, delinquent, and dependent members of human
society, whose misfortunes or misdeeds are assigned to atavistic causes,
to demoniacal influences.


Among primitive peoples, the advent of a child, besides entailing upon
one or both of the parents ceremonies and superstitious performances
whose name and fashion are legion, often makes a great change in the
constitution of society. Motherhood and fatherhood are, in more than one
part of the globe, primitive titles of nobility and badges of
aristocracy. With the birth of a child, the Chinese woman becomes
something more than a mere slave and plaything, and in the councils of
uncivilized peoples (as with us to-day) the voice of the father of a
family carries more weight than that of the childless. With the
civilized races to-day, more marriages mean fewer prison-houses, and
more empty jails, than in the earlier days, and with the primitive
peoples of the present, this social bond was the salvation of the tribe
to the same extent and in the same way.

As Westermarck points out, there are "several instances of husband and
wife not living together before the birth of a child." Here belong the
temporary marriages of the Creek Indians, the East Greenlanders, the
Fuegians, the Essenes, and some other Old World sects and peoples--the
birth of a child completes the marriage--"marriage is therefore rooted
in family, rather than family in marriage," in such cases. With the
Ainos of the island of Tezo, the Khyens of Farther India, and with one
of the aboriginal tribes of China, so Westermarck informs us, "the
husband goes to live with his wife at her father's house, and never
takes her away till after the birth of a child," and with more than one
other people the wife remains with her own parents until she becomes a
mother (166. 22, 23).

In some parts of the United States we find similar practices among the
population of European ancestry. The "boarding-out" of young couples
until a child is born to them is by no means uncommon.


Adoption is, among some primitive peoples, remarkably extensive. Among
the natives of the Andaman Islands "it is said to be of rare occurrence
to find any child above six or seven years of age residing with its
parents, and this, because it is considered a compliment and also a mark
of friendship for a married man, after paying a visit, to ask his hosts
to allow him to adopt one of their children" (498. 57).

Of the Hawaiian Islanders, Letourneau remarks (100. 389, 390): "Adoption
was rendered extremely easy; a man would give himself a father or sons
almost _ad infinitum_." In the Marquesas Islands "it was not
uncommon to see elderly persons being adopted by children." Moreover,
"animals even were adopted. A chief adopted a dog, to whom, he offered
ten pigs and some precious ornaments. The dog was carried about by a
_kikino_, and at every meal he had his stated place beside his
adopted father." Connected with adoption are many curious rites and
ceremonies which may be found described in Ploss and other authorities.
Dr. Friedrich S. Krauss (280) has recently treated at some length of a
special form of adoption symbolized by the cutting of the hair, and
particularly known among the southern Slavonians. The cutting off the
hair here represents, the author thinks, the unconditional surrendering
of one's body or life to another. The origin of the sacrifice of the
hair is to be sought in the fact that primitive peoples have believed
that the seat of the soul was in the hair and the blood, which were
offered to the spirits or demons in lieu of the whole body. The relation
between nurse and child has been treated of by Ploss and Wiedniann
(167), the latter with special reference to ancient Egypt and the
Mohammedan countries. In ancient Egypt the nurse was reckoned as one of
the family, and in the death-steles and reliefs of the Middle Kingdom
her name and figure are often found following those of the children and
parents of the deceased. The wet-nurse was held in especial honour. The
milk-relationship sometimes completely takes the place of
blood-relationship. The Koran forbids the marriage of a nurse and a man
whom, as a child, she has suckled; the laws of the Hanafi forbid a man
to marry a woman from whose breast he has imbibed even a single drop of
milk. Among the southern Slavonians: "If of two children who have fed at
the breast of the same woman, one is a boy and the woman's own child,
and the other (adopted) a girl, these two must never marry." If they are
both girls, they are like real sisters in love and affection; if both
boys, like real brothers. In Dardistan and Armenia also,
milk-relationship prevents marriage (167. 263).

In Mingrelia as soon as a child is given to a woman to nurse, she, her
husband, children, and grandchildren are bound to it by ties more dear
even than those of blood-relationship; she would yield up her life for
the child, and the latter, when grown up, is reciprocally dutiful. It is
a curious fact that even grown-up people can contract this sort of
relationship. "Thus peasant-women are very anxious to have grown-up
princesses become then foster-children--the latter simply bite gently
the breasts of their foster-mothers, and forthwith a close relationship
subsists between them." It is said also that girls obtain protectors in
like manner by having youths bite at their breasts, which (lately) they
cover with a veil (167. 263). Adoption by the letting or transfusion of
blood is also found in various parts of the world and has far-reaching
ramifications; as Trumbull, Robertson Smith, and Daniels have pointed
out. The last calls attention to the Biblical declaration (Proverbs,
xxviii. 24): "There is a friend which sticketh closer than a brother,"
underlying which seems to be this mystic tie of blood (214. 16).

The mourning for the death of children is discussed in another part of
this work. It may be mentioned here, however, that the death of a child
often entails other, sometimes more serious, consequences. Among the
Dyaks of Borneo, "when a father has lost his child, he kills the first
man he meets as he goes out of his house; this is to him an act of duty"
(100. 238).

_Hereditary Bights._

The hereditary rights of children to share in the property of their
parents have been made the subject of an interesting study by Clement
Deneus (215), a lawyer of Ghent, who has treated in detail of the
limitation of the patria potestas in respect to disposition of the
patrimony, and the reservation to the children of a portion of the
property of their parents--an almost inviolable right, of which they can
be deprived only in consequence of the gravest offences. This
reservation the author considers "a principle universally recognized
among civilized nations," and an institution which marks a progress in
the history of law and of civilization (215. 49), while testamentary
freedom is unjust and inexpedient. The author discusses the subject from
the points of view of history, statute and natural law, social economy,
etc., devoting special attention to pointing out the defects of the
system of the school of Le Play,--primogeniture, which still obtains in
England, in several parts of Germany, in certain localities of the
Pyrenees, and in the Basque provinces.

In the countries of modern Europe, the testamentary power of the father
is limited as follows: _Austria_ (Code of 1812): One-half of
parents' property reserved for children. The law of 1889 makes exception
in the case of rural patrimonies of moderate size with dwelling
attached, where the father has the right to designate his heir.
_Denmark_ (Code of 1845): Father can dispose of but one-fourth of
the property; nobles, however, are allowed to bestow upon one of their
children the half of their fortune. _Germany_: No uniform civil
legislation exists as yet for the whole empire. In the majority of the
smaller states, in a part of Bavaria, Rügen, eastern Pomerania,
Schleswig-Holstein, the _Corpus Juris Civilis_ of Justinian is in
force, while the Napoleonic code obtains in Rhenish Prussia, Hesse, and
Bavaria, in Baden, Berg, Alsace-Lorraine. In Prussia, the reserve is
one-third, if there are less than three children; one-half, if there are
three or four. In Saxony, if there are five or more children, the
reserve is one-half; if there are four or less, one-third.
_Greece:_ The Justinian novels are followed. _Holland:_ The
Napoleonic code is in force. _Italy_ (Code of 1866): The reserve is
one-half. _Norway_ (Code of 1637, modified in 1800, 1811, 1825):
The father is allowed free disposal of one-half of the patrimony, but
for religious charities (_fondationspieuses_) only.
_Portugal_: The legitimate is two-thirds. _Roumania_ (Code of
1865): The same provision as in the Napoleonic code. _Russia_ (Code
of 1835): The father can dispose at pleasure of the personal property
and property acquired, but the property itself must be divided equally.
In Esthonia, this provision also applies to personal property acquired
by inheritance. _Spain_ (Code of 1889): The father can dispose of
one-third of the patrimony to a stranger; to a child he can will
two-thirds. He can also, in the case of farming, industry, or commerce,
leave his entire property to one of his children, except that the
legatee has to pecuniarily indemnify his brothers and sisters.
_Sweden_ (Code of 1734): In the towns, the father can dispose of
but one-sixth of the patrimony; in the country, the patrimonial property
must go to the children. The rest is at the will of the father, except
that he must provide for the sustenance of his children.
_Switzerland:_ At Geneva, the Napoleonic code is in force; in the
Canton of Uri, the younger son is sometimes specially favoured; in
Zürich, the father can dispose of one-sixth in favour of strangers, or
one-fifth in favour of a child; in Bâle, he is allowed no disposal; in
the cantons of Neuchâtel and Vaud, the reserve is one-half, in Bern and
Schaffhausen, two-thirds, and in Eriburg and Soleure, three-fourths.
_Turkey:_ The father can dispose of two-thirds by will, or of the
whole by gift (215. 39-41).

In Prance, article 913 of the civil code forbids the father to dispose,
by gift while living, or by will, of more than one-half of the property,
if he leaves at his death but one legitimate child; more than one-third,
if he leaves two children; more than one-fourth, if he leave three or
more children. In the United States great testamentary freedom prevails,
and the laws of inheritance belong to the province of the various

Among the nations of antiquity,--Egyptians, Persians, Assyrians,
Chinese,--according to Deneus (215. 2), the _patria potestas_
probably prevented any considerable diffusion of the family estates. By
the time of Moses, the Hebrews had come to favour the first-born, and to
him was given a double share of the inheritance. With the ancient Hindus
but a slight favouring--of the eldest son seems to have been in vogue,
the principle of co-proprietorship of parent and children being
recognized in the laws of Manu. In Sparta, the constitution was inimical
to a reserve for all the children; in Athens, the code of Solon forbade
a man to benefit a stranger at the expense of his legitimate male
children; he had, however, the right to make particular legacies,
probably up to one-half of the property. Deneus considers that the
_penchant_ of the Athenians for equality was not favourable to a
cast-iron system of primogeniture, although the father may have been
able to favour his oldest child to the extent of one-half of his
possessions. In ancient Rome (215. 4-16), at first, a will was an
exception, made valid only by the vote of a lex curiata; but afterwards
the absolute freedom of testamentary disposition, which was approved in
450 B.C. by the Law of the Twelve Tables,--_Uti legassit super
pecunia tutelage suce rei, ita jus esto,_--appears, and the father
could even pass by his children in silence and call upon an utter
stranger to enjoy his estate and possessions. By 153 B.C., however, the
father was called upon to nominally disinherit his children, and not
merely pass them over in silence, if he wished to leave his property to
a stranger. For some time this provision had little effect, but a breach
in the _patria potestas_ has really been made, and by the time of
Pliny the Younger (61-115 A.D.), who describes the procedure in detail,
the disinherited children were given the right of the _querula
inoffidosi testamenti,_ by which the father was presumed to have died
intestate, and his property fell in equal shares to all his children.
Thus it was that the right of children in the property of the father was
first really recognized at Rome, and the _pars legitima,_ the
reserve of which made it impossible for the children to attack the will
of the father, came into practice. In the last years of the Republic,
this share was at least one-fourth of what the legitimate heir would
have received in the absence of a will; under Justinian, it was
one-third of the part _ab intestate,_ if this was at least
one-fourth of the estate; otherwise, one-half. The father always
retained the right to disinherit, for certain reasons, in law. With this
diminution of his rights over property went also a lessening of his
powers over the bodies of his children. Diocletian forbade the selling
of children, Constantine decreed that the father who exposed his
new-born child should lose the _patria potestas,_ and Valentinian
punished such action with death. Among the ancient Gauls, in spite of
the father's power of life and death over his offspring, he could not
disinherit them, for the theory of co-proprietorship obtained with these
western tribes (215. 16). With the ancient Germans, the father appears
to have been rather the protector of his children than their owner or
keeper; the child is recognized, somewhat rudely, as a being with some
rights of his own. Michelet has aptly observed, as Deneus remarks, that
"the Hindus saw in the son the reproduction of the father's soul; the
Romans, a servant of the father; the Germans, a child" (215. 17). At
first wills were unknown among them, for the system of
co-proprietorship,--_hoeredes successoresgue sui cuique liberi et
nullum testamentum,_--and the solidarity of the family and all its
members, did not feel the need of any. The inroad of Roman ideas, and
especially, Deneus thinks, the fervour of converts to Christianity,
introduced testamentary legacies.

The Goths and Burgundians, in their Roman laws, allowed the parent to
dispose of three-fourths, the Visigoths one-third or one-fifth,
according as the testator disposed of his property in favour of a child
or a stranger. The national law of the Burgundians allowed to the father
the absolute disposal of his acquisitions, but prescribed the equal
sharing of the property among all the children. The ripuarian law of the
Franks left the children a reserve of twelve sons, practically admitting
absolute freedom of disposition by will (215. 18). The course of law in
respect to the inheritance of children during the Middle Ages can be
read in the pages of Deneus and the wider comparative aspect of the
subject studied in the volumes of Post, Dargun, Engels, etc., where the
various effects of mother-right and father-right are discussed and

_Subdivisions of Land._

In some cases, as in Wurtemburg, Switzerland, Hanover, Thuringia, Hesse,
certain parts of Sweden, France, and Russia, the subdivision of property
has been carried out to an extent which has produced truly Lilliputian
holdings. In Switzerland there is a certain commune where the custom
obtains of transmitting by will to each child its proportional share of
each parcel; so that a single walnut-tree has no fewer than sixty
proprietors. This reminds us of the Maoris of New Zealand, with whom "a
portion of the ground is allotted to the use of each family, and this
portion is again subdivided into individual parts on the birth of each
child." It is of these same people that the story is told that, after
selling certain of their lands to the English authorities, they came
back in less than a year and demanded payment also for the shares of the
children born since the sale, whose rights they declared had not been
disposed of. On the islands of the Loire there are holdings "so small
that it is impossible to reduce them any less, so their owners have them
each in turn a year"; in the commune of Murs, in Anjou, there is "a
strip of nine hectares, subdivided into no fewer than thirty-one
separate parcels." The limit, however, seems to be reached in Laon,
where "it is not rare to find fields scarce a metre (3 ft. 3.37 in.)
wide; here an apple-tree or a walnut-tree covers with its branches four
or five lots, and the proprietor can only take in his crop in the
presence of his neighbours, to whom he has also to leave one-half of the
fruit fallen on their lots." No wonder many disputes and lawsuits arise
from such a state of affairs. It puts us in mind at once of the story of
the sand-pile and the McDonogh farm. The exchange or purchase of
contiguous parcels sometimes brings temporary or permanent relief (215.
112, 113).

The following figures show the extent to which this Lilliputian system
obtained in France in 1884, according to the returns of the Minister of

                                       NUMBER OF  CENT. HECTARES. CENT.
Less than 20 ares
(100 ares = one hectare)             4,115,463  29.00
Less than 50 ares                    6,597,843  47.00  1,147,804  2.31
Less than 1 hectare ( =2-1/2 acres)  8,585,523  61.00  2,574,589  5.19
Less than 2 hectares                10,426,368  74.09  5,211,456 10.53
From 2 to 6 hectares                 2,174,188  15.47  7,543,347 15.26
From 6 to 50 hectares                1,351,499   9.58 19,217,902 38.94
From 50 to 200 hectares                105,070   0.74  9,398,057 19.04
More than 200 hectares                  17,676   0.12  8,017,542 16.23

Totals.....................         14,074,801 100.00 49,388,304 100.00

Deneus gives other interesting figures from Belgium and elsewhere,
showing the extent of the system. Other statistics given indicate that
this parcelling-out has reached its lowest point, and that the reaction
has set in. It is a curious fact, noted by M. Deneus, that of the
1,173,724 tenant-farmers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland in the year 1884, no fewer than 852,438 cultivated an acre or

_Younger Son._

Mr. Sessions, in his interesting little pamphlet (351) calls attention
to the important _role_ assigned in legend and story to the
"younger son," "younger brother," as well as the social customs and laws
which have come into vogue on his account. Sir Henry Maine argued that
"primogeniture cannot be the natural outgrowth of the family, but is a
political institution, coming not from clansmen but from a chief." Hence
the youngest son, "who continues longest with the father, is naturally
the heir of his house, the rest being already provided for." Mr.
Sessions observes (351. 2): "Among some primitive tribes, as those of
Cape York [Australia] and the adjacent islands, the youngest son
inherited a double portion of his deceased father's goods. Among the
Maoris of New Zealand he takes the whole. Among some hill tribes of
India, such as the Todas of the Neilgherries, he takes the house and
maintains the women of the family, whilst the cattle, which represent
the chief personalities, are equally divided. The Mrus and Kolhs and
Cotas have similar customs." Somewhat similar to the code of the Todas
was that of the Hindu Aryans, as embodied in the laws of Manu, for "the
youngest son has, from time immemorial, as well as the eldest, a place
in Hindu legislation." The succession of the youngest prevails among the
Mongolian Tartars, and "when in Russia the joint family may be broken
up, the youngest takes the house." The right of the youngest was known
among the Welsh, Irish, and some other Celtic tribes; the old Welsh law
gave the youngest son the house and eight acres, the rest of the land
being divided equally between all the sons. Mr. Sessions calls attention
to the fact that, while in Old Testament Palestine primogeniture was the
rule, the line of ancestry of Christ exhibits some remarkable
exceptions. And among primitive peoples the hero or demi-god is very
often the younger son.

Under the name of "Borough English," the law by which the father's real
property descends to the youngest son alone, survives in Gloucester and
some few other places in England,--Lambeth, Hackney, part of Islington,
Heston, Edmonton, etc.

Another interesting tenure is that of gavelkind, by which the land and
property of the father was inherited in equal portions by all his sons,
the youngest taking the house, the eldest the horse and arms, and so on.
This mode of tenure, before the Conquest, was quite common in parts of
England, especially Wales and Northumberland, still surviving especially
in the county of Kent. Many things, indeed, testify of the care which
was taken even in primitive times to secure that the youngest born, the
child of old age, so frequently the best-loved, should not fare ill in
the struggle for life.


One important function of the child (still to be seen commonly among the
lower classes of the civilized races of to-day) with primitive peoples
is that of nurse and baby-carrier. Even of Japan, Mrs. Bramhall gives
this picture (189. 33):--

"We shall see hundreds of small children, not more than five or six
years of age, carrying, fast asleep on their shoulders, the baby of the
household, its tiny smooth brown head swinging hither and thither with
every movement of its small nurse, who walks, runs, sits, or jumps,
flies kites, plays hop-scotch, and fishes for frogs in the gutter,
totally oblivious of that infantile charge, whether sleeping or waking.
If no young sister or brother be available, the husband, the uncle, the
father, or grandfather hitches on his back the baby, preternaturally
good and contented."

The extent to which, in America, as well as in Europe, to-day, young
children are entrusted with the care of infants of their family, has
attracted not a little attention, and the "beyond their years" look of
some of these little nurses and care-takers is often quite noticeable.
The advent of the baby-carriage has rather facilitated than hindered
this old-time employment of the child in the last century or so. In a
recent number (vol. xvii. p. 792) of _Public Opinion_ we find the
statement that from June 17, 1890, to September 15, 1894, the "Little
Mothers' Aid Association," of New York, has been the means of giving a
holiday, one day at least of pleasure in the year, to more than eight
thousand little girls, who are "little mothers, in the sense of having
the care of younger children while the parents are at work." In thrifty
New England, children perform not a little of the housework, even the
cooking; and "little mothers" and "little housekeepers" were sometimes
left to themselves for days, while their elders in days gone by visited
or went to the nearest town or village for supplies.


"Marriages are made in heaven," says the old proverb, and among some
primitive peoples we meet with numerous instances of their having been
agreed upon and arranged by prospective parents long before the birth of
their offspring. Indeed, the betrothal of unborn children by their
parents occurs sporadically to-day in civilized lands. Ploss has called
attention to child-marriages in their sociological and physiological
bearings (125.1. 386-402), and Post has considered the subject in his
historical study of family law. In these authorities the details of the
subject may be read. In Old Calabar, men who already possess several
wives take to their bosom and kiss, as their new wife, babes two or
three weeks old. In China, Gujurat, Ceylon, and parts of Brazil, wives
of from four to six years of age are occasionally met with. In many
parts of the world wives of seven to nine years of age are common, and
wives of from ten to twelve very common. In China it is sometimes the
case that parents buy for their infant son an infant wife, nursed at the
same breast with him (234. xlii.). Wiedemann, in an article on
child-marriages in Egypt (381), mentions the fact that a certain king of
the twenty-first dynasty (about 1100 B.C.) seems to have had as one of
his wives a child only a few days old. From Dio Cassius we learn that in
Rome, at the beginning of the Empire, marriages of children under ten
years occasionally took place.

In some parts of the world the child-wife does not belong to her
child-husband. "Among the Reddies, of India," Letourneau informs us, "a
girl from sixteen to twenty years of age is married to a boy of five or
six. The wife then becomes the real wife of the boy's uncle, or cousin,
or of the father of the reputed husband. But the latter is considered to
be the legal father of the children of his pretended wife." So it is
only when the boy has grown up that he receives his wife, and he, in
turn, acts as his relative before him (100. 354). Temple cites the
following curious custom in his tales of the Panjâb (542. I. xviii.):--
"When Raja Vasali has won a bride from Raja Sirkap, he is given a
new-born infant and a mango-tree, which is to flower in twelve years,
and when it flowers, the girl is to be his wife." The age prescribed by
ancient Hindu custom (for the Brahman, Tshetria, and Vysia classes) is
six to eight years for the girl, and the belief prevailed that if a girl
were to attain her puberty before being married, her parents and
brothers go to hell, as it was their duty to have got her married before
that period (317. 56). Father Sangermano, writing of Burma a hundred
years ago, notices the "habit of the Burmese to engage their daughters
while young, in real or fictitious marriages, in order to save them from
the hands of the king's ministers, custom having established a rule,
which is rarely if ever violated, that no married woman can be seized,
even for the king himself" (234. xlii.). The child-marriages of India
have been a fruitful theme for discussion, as well as the enforced
widowhood consequent upon the death of the husband. Among the most
interesting literature on the subject are the "Papers relating to Infant
Marriage and Enforced Widowhood in India" (317), Schlagintweit (142),
etc. The evils connected with the child-marriages of India are forcibly
brought out by Mrs. Steel in several of the short stories in her _From
the Five Rivers_ (1893), and by Richard Garbe in his beautiful little
novel _The Redemption of the Brahman_(1894).

But India and other Eastern lands are not the only countries where
"child-marriages" have flourished. Dr. F. J. Furnivall (234), the
distinguished English antiquary and philologist, poring over at Chester
the "Depositions in Trials in the Bishop's Court from November, 1561 to
March, 1565-6," was astonished to find on the ninth page the record:
"that Elizabeth Hulse said she was married to George Hulse in the Chapel
of Knutsford, when she was but _three or four_ years old, while the
boy himself deposed that he was about seven," and still more surprised
when he discovered that the volume contained "no fewer than twenty-seven
cases of the actual marriage in church of the little boys and girls of
middle-class folk." The result of Dr. Furnivall's researches is
contained in the one-hundred-and-eighth volume (original series) of the
Early English Text Society's Publications, dealing with child-marriages,
divorces, ratifications, etc., and containing a wealth of quaint and
curious sociological lore. Perhaps the youngest couple described are
John Somerford, aged about three years, and Jane Brerton, aged about two
years, who were married in the parish church of Brerton about 1553. Both
were carried in arms to the church, and had the words of the marriage
service said for them by those who carried them. It appears that they
lived together at Brerton for ten years, but without sustaining any
further marital relations, and when the husband was about fifteen years,
we find him suing for a divorce on account of his wife's "unkindness,
and other weighty causes." Neither party seemed affectionately disposed
towards the other (234.26). Other very interesting marriages are those
of Bridget Dutton (aged under five years) and George Spurstowe (aged
six) (234. 38); Margaret Stanley (aged five) and Roland Dutton (aged
nine), brother of Bridget Dutton (234. 41); Janet Parker (aged five) and
Lawrence Parker (aged nine to ten). The rest of the twenty-seven couples
were considerably older, the most of the girls ranging between eight and
twelve, the boys between ten and fourteen (234. 28). It would Seem that
for the most part these young married couples were not allowed to live
together, but at times some of the nuptial rites were travestied or
attempted to be complied with. In two only of the twenty-seven cases is
there mention of "bedding" the newly-married children. John Budge, who
at the age of eleven to twelve years, was married to Elizabeth
Ramsbotham, aged thirteen to fourteen years, is said to have wept to go
home with his father and only by "compulsion of the priest of the
Chapel" was he persuaded to lie with his wife, but never had any marital
relations with her whatever, and subsequently a petition for divorce was
filed by the husband (234. 6). In the case of Ellen Dampart, who at the
age of about eight years, was married to John Andrew aged ten, it
appears that they slept in the same bed with two of the child-wife's
sisters between them. No marital relations were entered upon, and the
wife afterwards sues for a divorce (234. 15, 16).

The practice seems to have been for each of the children married to go
to live with some relative, and if the marriage were not ratified by
them after reaching years of consent, to petition for a divorce. In some
nine cases the boy is younger than the girl, and Humfrey Winstanley was
under twelve when he was married to Alice Worsley aged over seventeen;
in this case no marital relations were entered upon, though the wife was
quite willing; and the husband afterwards petitions for a divorce
(234.2-4). Thomas Dampart, who at the age of ten years, was married to
Elizabeth Page, appears to have lived with his wife about eight years
and to have kept up marital relations with her until she left him of her
own motion. Dr. Furnivall (234. 49-52) cites four cases of ratification
of child-marriages by the parties after they have attained years of
discretion, in one of which the boy and the girl were each but ten years
old when married. The most naive account in the whole book is that of
the divorce-petition of James Ballard, who, when about eleven years of
age, was married in the parish church of Colne at ten o'clock at night
by Sir Roger Blakey, the curate, to a girl named Anne; the morning after
the ceremony he is said "to have declared unto his uncle that the said
Anne had enticed him with two Apples, to go with her to Colne, and marry
her." No marital relations were entered upon, and the curate was
punished for his hasty and injudicious action (234. 45).

Dr. Furnivall (234. xxxv.) quotes at some length the legal opinion--the
law on infant marriages--of Judge Swinburne (died, 1624), from which we
learn that "infants" (i.e. children under seven years of age) could not
contract spousals or matrimony, and such contracts made by the infants
or by their parents were void, unless subsequently ratified by the
contracting parties by word or deed,--at twelve the girls ceased to be
children, and at fourteen the boys, and were then fully marriageable, as
they are to-day in many parts of the world. Of childhood, Judge
Swinburne says, "During this age, children cannot contract Matrimony
_de praesenti_., but only _de futuro_"; but their spousals
could readily be turned into actual marriages after the girls were
twelve and the boys fourteen, as Dr. Furnivall points out.

The fifth limitation to his general statement, which the learned judge
made, is thus strangely and quaintly expressed: "The fifth Limitation
is, when the Infants which do contract Spousals are of that _Wit and
Discretion_, that albeit they have not as yet accomplished the full
Age of Seven Years, yet doth their supra-ordinary understanding fully
supply that small defect of Age which thing is not rare in these days,
wherein Children become sooner ripe, and do conceive more quickly than
in former Ages" (234. xxxvi.).

First among the causes of these child-marriages Dr. Furnivall is
inclined to rank "the desire to evade the feudal law of the Sovereign's
guardianship of all infants," for "when a father died, the Crown had the
right to hold the person and estate of the propertied orphan until it
came of age, and it could be sold in marriage for the benefit of the
Crown or its grantee." Moreover, "if the orphan refused such a marriage
with a person of its own rank, it had to pay its guardian a heavy fine
for refusing his choice, and selecting a spouse of its own" (234.
xxxix.). Property-arrangement also figures as a cause of these
alliances, especially where the bride is older than the groom: Elizabeth
Hulse (aged four) was married to George Hulse (aged seven) "because her
friends thought she should have a living by him" (234. 4). When
Elizabeth Ramsbotham (aged 13-14) married John Bridge (aged 11-12),
"money was paid by the father of the said Elizaboth, to buy a piece of
land" (234. 6); according to the father of Joan Leyland (aged 11-12),
who married Ralph Whittall (aged 11-12), "they were married because she
should have had by him a pretty bargain, if they could have loved, one
the other" (234.12); Thomas Bentham (aged twelve) and Ellen Boltoii
(aged ten) were married because Richard Bentham, grandfather of Ellen,
"was a very wealthy man, and it was supposed that he would have been
good unto them, and bestowed some good farm upon them" (234. 32); the
marriage of Thomas Fletcher (aged 10-11) and Anne Whitfield (aged about
nine) took place because "John Fletcher, father of the said Thomas, was
in debt; and, to get some money of William Whitfield, to the discharge
of his debts, married and bargained his sonne to the said Whitfield's
daughter." The "compulsion of their friends" seems also to have been a
cause of the marriages of children; Peter Hope (about thirteen) married
Alice Ellis (aged nine), "because it was his mother's mind, he durst not
displease her" (234. 20, 23).

So far the evidence has related to unsatisfactory and unfortunate
marriages, but, as Dr. Furnivall remarks, "no doubt scores of others
ended happily; the child-husband and--wife just lived on together,
and--when they had reached their years of discretion (girls twelve, boys
fourteen) or attained puberty--ratified their marriage by sleeping in
one bed and having children" (234. xix., 203).

Some additional cases of child-marriages in the diocese of Chester are
noticed by Mr. J. P. Earwaker (234. xiv.), a pioneer in this branch of
antiquarian research, whose studies date back to 1885. The case of John
Marden, who, at the age of three years, was married to a girl of five is
thus described: "He was carried in the arms of a clergyman, who coaxed
him to repeat the words of matrimony. Before he had got through his
lesson, the child declared he would learn no more that day. The priest
answered: 'You must speak a little more, and then go play you.'" Robert
Parr, who, in 1538-9, at the age of three, was married to Elizabeth
Rogerson, "was hired for an apple by his uncle to go to church, and was
borne thither in the arms of Edward Bunburie his uncle ... which held
him in arms the time that he was married to the said Elizabeth, at which
time the said Robert could scarce speak." Mr. Earwaker says that in the
_Inquisitiones post mortem_, "it is by no means unfrequent to read
that so and so was heir to his father, and then aged, say, ten years,
and was already married" (234. xxi.-xxxiii.).

A celebrated child-marriage was that at Eynsham, Oxfordshire, in 1541,
the contracting parties being William, Lord Eure, aged 10-11 years, and
Mary Darcye, daughter of Lord Darcye, aged four. The parties were
divorced November 3, 1544, and in 1548, the boy took to himself another
wife. Dr. Furnivall cites from John Smith's _Lives of the
Berkeleys_, the statements that Maurice, third Lord Berkeley, was
married in 1289, when eight years old, to Eve, daughter of Lord Zouch,
and, before he or his wife was fourteen years of age, had a son by her;
that Maurice, the fourth Lord Berkeley, when eight years of age, was
married in 1338-9, to Elizabeth, daughter of Hugh Lord Spenser, about
eight years old; that Thomas, the fourth Lord Berkeley, when about
fourteen and one-half years of age, was married, in 1366, to Margaret,
daughter of Lord de Lisle, aged about seven. Smith, in quaint fashion,
refers to King Josiah (2 Kings, xxiii., xxvi.), King Ahaz (2 Kings, xvi.
2, xviii. 2), and King Solomon (1 Kings, xi. 42, xiv. 21) as having been
fathers at a very early age, and remarks: "And the Fathers of the Church
do tell us that the blessed Virgin Mary brought forth our Saviour at
fifteen years old, or under" (234. xxvii).

Even during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries child-marriages
are numerously attested. Following are noteworthy cases (234. xxiii.):
In 1626 Anne Clopton, aged nearly fourteen, was married to Sir Simonds
D'Ewes, aged nearly twenty-four; in 1673, John Power, grandson of Lord
Anglesey, was married at Lambeth, by the Archbishop of Canterbury to
Mrs. Catherine Fitzgerald, his cousin-german, she being about thirteen,
and he eight years old; at Dunton Basset, Leicestershire, in 1669, Mary
Hewitt (who is stated to have lived to the good old age of seventy-
seven) was married when but three years old; in 1672, the only daughter
(aged five) of Lord Arlington was married to the Duke of Grafton, and
the ceremony was witnessed by John Evelyn, who, in 1679, "was present at
the re-marriage of the child couple"; in 1719, Lady Sarah Cadogan, aged
thirteen, was married to Charles, Duke of Eichmond, aged eighteen; in
1721, Charles Powel, of Carmarthen, aged about eleven, was married to a
daughter of Sir Thomas Powel, of Broadway, aged about fourteen; in 1729,
"a girl of nine years and three months was taken from a boarding school
by one of her guardians, and married to his son"; Bridget Clarke, in
1883, is reputed to have been twenty-five years old, to have had seven
children, and to have been married when only thirteen; at Deeping,
Lincolnshire, a young man of twenty-one married a girl of fourteen, and
"it was somewhat of a novelty to observe the interesting bride the
following day exhibiting her skill on the skipping-rope on the pavement
in the street." Mr. Longstaff, who has studied the annual reports of the
registrar-general for 1851-81, finds that during these thirtyone years,
"out of 11,058,376 persons married, 154 boys married before 17, and 862
girls before 16. Of these, 11 boys of 15 married girls of 15 (four
cases), 16, 18 (two cases), 20, and 21. Three girls of 14 married men of
18, 21, and 25. Five girls of 15 married boys of 16; in 29 marriages
both girl and boy were sixteen" (234. xxxiii).

Further comments upon infant marriages may be found in an article in the
_Gentleman's Magazine_, for September, 1894, the writer of which
remarks: "Within recent years, however, the discovery has been made,
that, so far from being confined, as had been supposed, to royal or
aristocratic houses, infant marriages were, in the sixteenth century,
common in some parts of England among all classes" (367. 322).

It was said "marriages are made in heaven," and that some times
children are married before they are born; it might also be said
"marriages are made for heaven," since some children are married after
they are dead. In some parts of China (and Marco Polo reported the same
practice as prevalent in his time among the Tartars) "the spirits of all
males who die in infancy or in boyhood are, in due time, married to the
spirits of females who have been cut off at a like early age" (166.

As Westermarck observes, "Dr. Ploss has justly pointed out that the
ruder a people is, and the more exclusively a woman is valued as an
object of desire, or as a slave, the earlier in life is she chosen;
whereas, if marriage becomes a union of souls as well as of bodies, the
man claims a higher degree of mental maturity from the woman he wishes
to be his wife."

In so civilized a nation even as the United States, the "age of consent"
laws evidence the tenacity of barbarism. The black list of states,
compiled by Mr. Powell (180. 201), in a recent article in the
_Arena_, reveals the astonishing fact that in three
states--Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina-the "age of consent" is
_ten_ years; in four states, twelve years; in three states,
thirteen years; in no fewer than twenty states, fourteen years; in two
states, fifteen years; in twelve states, sixteen years; and in one state
(Florida), seventeen years. In Kansas and Wyoming alone is the "age of
consent" eighteen years, and it is worthy of note that Wyoming is the
only state in the Union in which women have for any considerable length
of time enjoyed the right to vote on exactly the same terms as men. In
England, the agitation set going by Mr. Stead, in 1885, resulted in, the
passage of a law raising the "age of consent" from thirteen to sixteen
years. It is almost beyond belief, that, in the State of Delaware, only
a few years ago, the "age of consent" was actually as low as seven years
(180.194)! Even in Puritan New England, we find the "age of consent"
fixed at thirteen in New Hampshire, and at fourteen in Connecticut,
Vermont, and Maine (180. 195). It is a sad comment upon our boasted
culture and progress that, as of old, the law protects, and even
religion fears to disturb too rudely, this awful sacrifice to lust which
we have inherited from our savage ancestors. There is no darker chapter
in the history of our country than that which tells of the weak
pandering to the modern representatives of the priests of Bacchus,
Astarte, and the shameless Venus. The religious aspect of the horrible
immolation may have passed away, but wealth and social attractions have
taken its place, and the evil works out its destroying way as ever. To
save the children from this worse than death, women must fight, and they
will win; for once the barbarity, the enormity, the inhumanity of this
child-sacrifice is brought home to men they cannot for their own
children's sake permit the thing to go on. Here, above all places else,
apply the words of Jesus: "Whoso shall cause one of these little ones
which believe on me to stumble, it is profitable that a great millstone
should be hanged about his neck, and he should be sunk in the depths of
the sea." The marriage-laws of some of the states savour almost as much
of prehistoric times and primitive peoples. With the consent of her
parents, a girl of twelve years may lawfully contract marriage in no
fewer than twenty-two states and territories; and in no fewer than
twenty, a boy of fourteen may do likewise. Among the twenty-two states
and territories are included: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Vermont; and among the twenty, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Vermont. In some of the Southern States the age seems to be somewhat
higher than in a number of the Northern. The existence of slavery may
have tended to bring about this result; while the same fact in the West
is to be accounted for by the vigour and newness of the civilization in
that part of the country.

_Children's Rights._

Where, as in ancient Rome, for example, the _patria potestas_
flourished in primitive vigour,--Mommsen says, "all in the household
were destitute of legal rights,--the wife and the child no less than the
bullock or the slave" (166. 229), children could in nowise act as
members of society. Westermarck (166. 213-239) shows to what extent and
to what age the _mundiwm_, or guardianship of the father over his
children, was exercised in Rome, Greece, among the Teutonic tribes, in
France. In the latter country even now "a child cannot quit the paternal
residence without the permission of the father before the age of
twenty-one, except for enrolment in the army. For grave misconduct by
his children the father has strong means of correction. A son under
twenty-five and a daughter under-twenty-one cannot marry without the
consent of their parents; and even when a man has attained his
twenty-fifth year, and the woman her twenty-first, both are still bound
to ask for it, by a formal notification." Westermarck's observations on
the general subject are as follows:--"There is thus a certain
resemblance between the family institution of savage tribes and that of
the most advanced races. Among both, the grown-up son, and frequently
the grown-up daughter, enjoys a liberty unknown among peoples at an
intermediate stage of civilization. There are, however, these vital
differences: that children in civilized countries are in no respect the
property of their parents; that they are born with certain rights
guaranteed to them by society; that the birth of children gives parents
no rights over them other than those which conduce to the children's
happiness. These ideas, essential as they are to true civilization, are
not many centuries old. It is a purely modern conception the French
Encyclopaedist expresses when he says, 'Le pouvoir paternel est plutot
un devoir qu'un pouvoir'" (166. 239).

_The Child at School._

It was in this spirit also that Count Czaky (when Minister of Education
in Hungary), replying to the sarcastic suggestion of one of the
Deputies, during the debate on the revision of the curriculum of
classical studies, that "the lazy children should be asked whether they
liked to study Greek or not," said that "when it became necessary, he
would willingly listen to the children themselves." That children have
some rights in the matter is a view that is slowly but surely fixing
itself in the minds of the people,--that the school should be something
more than an intellectual prison-house, a mental and moral tread-mill, a
place to put children in out of the way of the family, a dark cave into
which happy, freedom-loving, joyous childhood must perforce retire from
that communion with nature which makes the health of its body and the
salvation of its soul. This false theory of education is vanishing,
however tardily, before the teachings of the new psychology and the new
anthropology, which demand a knowledge of what the child is, feels,
thinks, before they will be party to any attempt to make him be, feel,
think, something different. The school is but a modified form of
society, of its fundamental institution, the family. Dr. Eiccardi, in
the introduction to his _Antropologia e Pedagogia_,-in which he
discusses a mass of psychological, sociological, and anthropological
observations and statistics,--well says (336. 12):--

"The school is a little society, whose citizens are the scholars. The
teacher has not merely to instruct the pupil, but ought also to teach
him to live in the little school-society and thus fitly prepare him to
live in the great society of humanity. And just as men are classified in
human society, so ought to be classified the scholars in the little
school-society; and just as the teacher looks upon the great human world
in movement upon the earth, so ought he also to look upon that little
world called the school, observing its elements with a positive eye,
without preconceptions and without prejudices. The teacher, therefore,
in regard to the school-organism, is as a legislator in regard to
society. And the true and wise legislator does not give laws to the
governed, does not offer security and liberty to the citizens, until
after he has made a profound study of his country and of society. Let
the teacher try for some time to take these criteria into his school;
let him try to apply in the school many of those facts and usages which
are commonly employed in human society, and he will see how, little by
little, almost unnoticeably, the primitive idea of the school will be
modified in his mind, and he will see how the school itself will assume
the true character which it ought to have, that is, the character of a
microscopic social organism. This legislator for our children, by making
the children and youths clearly see of themselves that the school is
nothing else but a little society, where they are taught to live, and by
making them see the points of resemblance and of contact with the great
human society, will engender in the minds of the pupils the conscience
of duty and of right; will create in them the primitive feeling of
justice and of equity. And the pupils, feeling that there is a real
association, feeling that they do form part of a little world, and are
not something merely gathered together by chance for a few hours, will
form a compact homogeneous scholastic association, in which all will try
to be something, and of which all will be proud. In this way will the
assemblage of disparate, diverse, heterogeneous elements, with which the
school begins the year, be able to become homogeneous and create a true
school organism. And if the teacher will persevere, whether in the
direction of the school, in the classification of the pupils, or in the
different contingencies that arise, in applying those criteria, those
ideas, those forms, which are commonly employed in society, he will be
favouring the homogeneity of the little organism which he has to
instruct and to educate. He will thus have always before his mind all
the organic, psychic, and moral characteristics of human society and
will see the differences from, and the resemblances to, those of the
school-organism. In so far will he have an example, a law, a criterion,
a form to follow in the direction of the little human society entrusted
to him, with its beautiful and its ugly side, its good and its bad, its
vices and its virtues. This idea of the school as an organism, however
much it seems destined to overturn ideas of the past, will be the
crucible from which will be turned out in the near future all the
reforms and many new ideas."

This view of the school as an organism, a social microcosm, a little
society within the great human society, having its resemblances to, and
its differences from, the family and the nation, is one that the new
development of "child-study" seems bound to promote and advance. Rank
paternalism has made its exit from the great human society, but it has
yet a strong hold upon the school. It is only in comparatively recent
times that motherhood, which, as Zmigrodzki says, has been the basis of
our civilization, has been allowed to exercise its best influence upon
the scholastic microcosm. Paternalism and celibacy must be made to yield
up the strong grasp which they have upon the educational institutions of
the land, and the early years of the life of man must be confided to the
care of the mother-spirit, which the individual man and the race alike
have deified in their golden age. The mother who laid so well the
foundations of the great human society, the originator of its earliest
arts, the warder of its faiths and its beliefs, the mother, who built up
the family, must be trusted with some large share in the building of the


In _The Story of a Sand-Pile_ (255), President G. Stanley Hall has
chronicled for us the life-course of a primitive social community-nine
summers of work and play by a number of boys with a sand-pile in the
yard of one of their parents. Here we are introduced to the originality
and imitation of children in agriculture, architecture, industrial arts,
trade and commerce, money and exchange, government, law and justice,
charity, etc. The results of this spontaneous and varied exercise,
which, the parents say, "has been of about as much yearly educational
value to the boys as the eight months of school," and in contrast with
which "the concentrative methodic unities of Ziller seem artificial,
and, as Bacon said of scholastic methods, very inadequate to subtlety of
nature," Dr. Hall sums up as follows (255. 696):--

"Very many problems that puzzle older brains have been met in simpler
terms and solved wisely and well. The spirit and habit of active and
even prying observation has been greatly quickened. Industrial
processes, institutions, and methods of administration and organization
have been appropriated and put into practice. The boys have grown more
companionable and rational, learning many a lesson of self-control, and
developed a spirit of self-help. The parents have been enabled to
control indirectly the associations of their boys, and, in a very mixed
boy-community, to have them in a measure under observation without in
the least restricting their freedom. The habit of loafing, and the evils
that attend it, have been avoided, a strong practical and even
industrial bent has been given to their development, and much social
morality has been taught in the often complicated _modus vivendi_
with others that has been evolved. Finally, this may perhaps be called
one illustration of the education according to nature we so often hear
and speak of."

This study of child-sociology is a _rara avis in terra_; it is to
be hoped, however, that if any other parents have "refrained from
suggestions, and left the hand and fancy of the boys to educate each
other under the tuition of the mysterious play-instinct," they may be as
fortunate in securing for the deeds of their young off-spring, as
observant and as sympathetic a historian as he who has told the story of
the sand-pile in that little New England town.

Bagehot, in the course of his chapter on "Nation-Making," observes (395.

"After such great matters as religion and politics, it may seem trifling
to illustrate the subject from little boys. But it is not trifling. The
bane of philosophy is pomposity: people will not see that small things
are the miniatures of greater, and it seems a loss of abstract dignity
to freshen their minds by object lessons from what they know. But every
boarding-school changes as a nation changes. Most of us may remember
thinking,' How odd it is that this _half_ should be so unlike last
_half_; now we never go out of bounds, last half we were always
going; now we play rounders, then we played prisoner's base,' and so
through all the easy life of that time. In fact, some ruling spirits,
some one or two ascendant boys, had left, one or two others had come,
and so all was changed. The models were changed, and the copies changed;
a different thing was praised, and a different thing bullied." It was in
the spirit of this extract (part of which he quotes), that the editor of
the "Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political
Science" happily admitted into that series of monographs, Mr. J. H.
Johnson's _Rudimentary Society among Boys_(272), a sociological
study of peculiar interest and importance--"a microcosm, not only of
the agrarian, but of the political and economic history of society." Mr.
Johnson has graphically described the development of society among some
fifty boys on the farm belonging to the McDonogh School, not far from
the city of Baltimore, Maryland; land-tenure, boy-legislation, judicial
procedure, boy-economy, are all treated of in detail and many analogies
with the life and habits of primitive peoples brought out, and the
author has gone a long way towards realizing the thesis that "To show a
decided resemblance between barbarian political institutions and those
of communities of civilized children, would be a long step towards
founding a science of Social Embryology" (272. 61).


Mr. Stewart Culin (212) in his interesting account of the "Street Games
of Boys in Brooklyn, N.Y." notices _en passant_ the existence of
"gangs" of boys--boys' societies of the ruder and rougher kind. As
evidence of the extent to which these organizations have flourished, the
following somewhat complete list of those known to have existed in the
city of Philadelphia is given:--

Badgers, Bed Bugs, Bleeders, Blossoms, Bouncers, Buena Vistas,
Buffaloes, Bull Dogs, Bullets, Bunker Hills, Canaries, Clippers,
Corkies, Cow Towners, Cruisers, Darts, Didos, Dirty Dozen, Dumplingtown
Hivers, Dung Hills, Muters, Forest Eose, Forties, Garroters, Gas House
Tarriers, Glassgous, Golden Hours, Gut Gang, Haymakers, Hawk-Towners,
Hivers, Killers, Lancers, Lions, Mountaineers, Murderers, Niggers, Pigs,
Pluckers, Pots, Prairie Hens, Railroad Roughs, Rats, Ramblers, Ravens,
Riverside, Eovers, Schuylkill Eangers, Skinners, Snappers, Spigots,
Tigers, Tormentors, War Dogs, Wayne Towners.

Of these Mr. Culin remarks: "They had their laws and customs, their
feuds and compacts. The former were more numerous than the latter, and
they fought on every possible occasion. A kind of half-secret
organization existed among them, and new members passed through a
ceremony called 'initiation,' which was not confined to the lower
classes, from which most of them were recruited. Almost every
Philadelphia boy, as late as twenty years ago, went through some sort of
ordeal when he first entered into active boyhood. Being triced up by
legs and arms, and swung violently against a gate, was usually part of
this ceremony, and it no doubt still exists, although I have no
particular information, which indeed is rather difficult to obtain, as
boys, while they remain boys, are reticent concerning all such matters"
(212. 236).

These street-organizations exist in other cities also, and have their
ramifications in the school-life of children, who either belong to, or
are in some way subject to, these curious associations. Every ward, nay,
every street of any importance, seems to have its "gang," and it is no
small experience in a boy's life to pass the ordeal of initiation,
battle with alien organizations, and retire, as childhood recedes,
unharmed by the primitive _entourage_.

No doubt, from these street-gangs many pass into the junior criminal
societies which are known to exist in many great cities, the
training-schools for theft, prostitution, murder, the feeding-grounds
for the "White Caps," "Molly Maguires," "Ku-Klux," "Mafia," "Camorra,"
and other secret political or criminal associations, who know but too
well how to recruit their numbers from the young. The gentler side of
the social instinct is seen in the formation of friendships among
children, associations born of the nursery or the school-room which last
often through life. The study of these early friendships offers a
tempting field for sociological research and investigation.

_Secret Societies of the Young._

There are among primitive peoples many secret societies to which
children and youth are allowed to belong, or which are wholly composed
of such.

Among the secret societies of the Kwakiutl Indians, of British Columbia,
Dr. Boas mentions the "Keki'qalak--( = the crows)," formed from the
children (403. 53). The same author speaks of the Tsimshians, another
British Columbia tribe, in these terms (403. 57):--

"A man who is not a member of a secret society is a 'common man.' He
becomes a middle-class man after the first initiation, and attains
higher rank by repeated initiations. The novice disappears in the same
way as among the Kwakiutl. It is supposed that he goes to heaven. During
the dancing season a feast is given, and while the women are dancing the
novice is suddenly said to have disappeared. If he is a child, he stays
away four days; youths remain absent six days, and grown-up persons
several months. Chiefs are supposed to stay in heaven during the fall
and entire winter. When this period has elapsed, they suddenly reappear
on the beach, carried by an artificially-made monster belonging to their
crest. Then all the members of the secret society to which the novice is
to belong gather and walk down in grand procession to the beach to fetch
the child. At this time the child's parents bring presents, particularly
elk skins, strung on a rope as long as the procession, to be given at a
subsequent feast. The people surround the novice and lead him into every
house in order to show that he has returned. Then he is taken to the
house of his parents and a bunch of cedar-bark is fastened over the
door, to show that the place is tabooed, and nobody is allowed to
enter." The dance and other ceremonies which follow may be read of in
Dr. Boas' report.

Dr. Daniels, in his study of _Regeneration_, has called attention
to "seclusion" and "disappearance," followed by reappearance and
adoption as members of society, as characteristic practices in vogue
among many savage and semi-civilized tribes with respect to children and
those approaching the age of puberty--a change of name sometimes
accompanies the "entering upon the new life," as it is often called. Of
the Australians we read: "The boy at eight or ten years of age must
leave the hut of his father and live in common with the other young men
of the tribe. He is called by another name than that which he has borne
from birth and his diet is regulated to some extent." In New Guinea, in
Africa, and among some of the tribes of American aborigines like habits
prevail. The custom of certain Indians formerly inhabiting Virginia is
thus described: "After a very severe beating the boys are sent into a
secluded spot. There they must stay nine months and can associate with
no human being. They are fed during this time with a kind of
intoxicating preparation of roots to make them forget all about their
past life. After their return home everything must seem strange to them.
In this way it is thought that they 'begin to live anew.' They are
thought of as having been dead for a short time and are 'numbered among
the older citizens after forgetting that they once were boys'" (214.

In the African district of Quoja existed a secret society called
Belly-Paaro, "the members of which had to spend a long time in a holy
thicket. Whoever broke the rules of this society was seized upon by the
Jannanes, or spirits of the dead, who dwelt in the thicket and brought
thither, whence he was unable to return" (127. I. 240). Of this practice
Kulischer remarks: "'It is a death and a new birth, since they are
wholly changed in the consecrated thicket, dying to the old life and
existence, and receiving a new understanding.' When the youths return
from the thicket, they act as if they had come into the world for the
first time, and had never known where their parents lived or their
names, what sort of people they were, how to wash themselves" (214. 12).

Of another part of Africa we read: "In the country of Ambamba each
person must die once, and come to life again. Accordingly, when a
fetich-priest shakes his calabash at a village, those men and youths
whose hour is come fall into a state of death-like torpor, from which
they recover usually in the course of three days. But if there is any
one that the fetich loves, him he takes into the bush and buries in the
fetich-house. Oftentimes he remains buried for a long series of years.
When he comes to life again, he begins to eat and drink as before, but
his reason is gone, and the fetich-man is obliged to train him and
instruct him in the simplest bodily movements, like a little child. At
first the stick is only the instrument of education, but gradually his
senses come back to him, and he begins to speak. As soon as his
education is finished, the priest restores him to his parents. They
seldom recognize their son, but accept the express assurance of the
feticero, who also reminds them of events in the past. In Ambamba a man
who has not passed through the process of dying and coming to life again
is held in contempt, nor is he permitted to join in the dance" (529.

Some recollection, perhaps, of similar customs and ideas appears in the
game of "Ruripsken," which, according to Schambach, is played by
children in Gottingen: One of the children lies on the ground,
pretending to be dead, the others running up and singing out "Ruripsken,
are you alive yet?" Suddenly he springs up and seizes one of the other
players, who has to take his place, and so the game goes on.

Among the Mandingos of the coast of Sierra Leone, the girls approaching
puberty are taken by the women of the village to an out-of-the-way spot
in the forest, where they remain for a month and a day in strictest
seclusion, no one being permitted to see them except the old woman who
has charge of their circumcision. Here they are instructed in religion
and ceremonial, and at the expiration of the time set, are brought back
to town at night, and indulge in a sort of Lady Godiva procession until
daybreak. At the beginning of the dry-cool season among the Mundombe
"boys of from eight to ten years of age are brought by the
'kilombola-masters' into a lonely uninhabited spot, where they remain
for ninety days after their circumcision, during which time not even
their own parents may visit them. After the wound heals, they are
brought back to the village in triumph" (127. 1. 292).

With the Kaffirs the circumcision-rites last five months, "and during
this whole time the youths go around with their bodies smeared with
white clay. They form a secret society, and dwell apart from the village
in a house built specially for them" (127. I. 292). Among the Susu there
is a secret organization known as the _Semo_, the members of which
use a peculiar secret language, and "the young people have to pass a
whole year in the forest, and it is believed right for them to kill any
one who comes near the wood, and who is not acquainted with this secret
tongue" (127. I. 240). A very similar society exists among the tribes on
the Rio Nunez. Here "the young people live for seven or eight years a
life of seclusion in the forest." In Angoy there is the secret society
of the _Sindungo_, membership in which passes from father to son;
in Bomma, the secret orders of the fetich Undémbo; among the Shekiani
and the Bakulai, that of the great spirit Mwetyi, the chief object of
which is to keep in subjection women and children, and into which boys
are initiated when between fourteen and eighteen years old; the Mumbo
Jumbo society of the Mandingos, into which no one under sixteen years of
age is allowed to enter (127. I. 241-247).

Among the Mpongwe the women have a secret society called _Njembe_,
the object of which is to protect them against harsh treatment by the
men. The initiation lasts several weeks, and girls from ten to twelve
years of age are admissible (127. I. 245).

Of the Indians of the western plains of the United States of America we
are told: "At twelve or thirteen these yearnings can no longer be
suppressed; and, banded together, the youths of from twelve to sixteen
years roam over the country; and some of the most cold-blooded
atrocities, daring attacks, and desperate combats have been made by
these children in pursuit of fame" (432. 191).

Among the Mandingos of West Africa, during the two months immediately
following their circumcision, the youths "form a society called
_Solimana_. They make visits to the neighbouring villages, where
they sing and dance and are _fèted_ by the inhabitants."

In Angola the boys "live for a month under the care of a fetich-priest,
passing their time in drum-beating, a wild sort of singing, and
rat-hunting." Among the Beit Bidel "all the youths who are to be
consecrated as men unite together. They deck themselves out with beads,
hire a guitar-player, and retire to the woods, where they steal and kill
goats from the herds of their tribe, and for a whole week amuse
themselves with sport and song. The Wanika youths of like age betake
themselves, wholly naked, to the woods, where they remain until they
have slain a man." On the coast of Guinea, after their circumcision,
"boys are allowed to exact presents from every one and to commit all
sorts of excesses" (127. 1.291-4).

"Among the Fulas, boys who have been circumcised are a law unto
themselves until the incision has healed. They can steal or take
whatever suits them without its being counted an offence. In Bambuk, for
fourteen days after the circumcision-_fête_, the young people are
allowed to escape from the supervision of their parents. From sunrise to
sunset they can leave the paternal roof and run about the fields near
the village. They can demand meat and drink of whomsoever they please,
but may not enter a house unless they have been invited to do so." In
Darfur, "after their circumcision, the boys roamed around the adjacent
villages and stole all the poultry" (127. I. 291).

_Modern Aspects_.

These secret societies and outbursts of primitive lawlessness recall at
once to our attention the condition of affairs at some of our
universities, colleges, and larger schools. The secret societies and
student-organizations, with their initiations, feasts, and extravagant
demonstrations, their harassing of the uninitiated, their despisal of
municipal, collegiate, even parental authority, and their oftentime
contempt and disregard of all social order, their not infrequent
excesses and debauches, carry us back to their analogues in the
institutions of barbarism and savagery, the accompaniments of the
passage from childhood to manhood. Of late years, the same spirit has
crept into our high schools, and is even making itself felt in the
grammar grades, so imitative are the school-children of their brothers
and sisters in the universities and colleges. Pennalism and fagging, so
prevalent of old time in Germany and England, are not without their
representatives in this country. The "freshman" in the high schools and
colleges is often made to feel much as the savage does who is serving
his time of preparation for admission into the mysteries of Mumbo-

In the revels of "May Day," "Midsummer," "Eogation Week," "Whitsuntide,"
"All Fools' Day," "New Year's Day," "Hallow E'en," "Christmas,"
"Easter," etc., children throughout England and in many parts of Europe
during the Middle Ages took a prominent part and _rôle_ in the
customs and practices which survive even to-day, as may be seen in
Brand, Grimm, and other books dealing with popular customs and
festivals, social _fêtes_ and merry-makings.

In _Tennyson's May_ Queen we read:--

 "You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;
  To-morrow'll be the happiest time of all the glad New Year;
  Of all the glad New Year, mother, the maddest, merriest day;
  For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May."

And a "mad, merry day" it certainly was in "merry England," when the
fairest lass in the village was chosen "Queen of the May," and sang
merry songs of Robin Hood and Maid Marian.

Polydore Virgil tells us that in ancient Home the "youths used to go
into the fields and spend the Calends of May in dancing and singing in
honour of Flora, goddess of fruits and flowers." Westermarck seems to
think some of these popular customs have something to do with the
increase of the sexual function in spring and early summer (166. 30).

In seizing upon this instinct for society-making among children and
youth lies one of the greatest opportunities for the prevention of crime
and immorality the world has ever known. To turn to good ends this
spontaneity of action, to divert into channels of usefulness these
currents of child-activity, will be to add immensely to the equipment of
mankind in the struggle with vice. A certain bishop of the early
Christian Church is credited with having declared that, if the
authorities only took charge of the children soon enough, there would be
no burning of heretics, no scandalous schisms in the body ecclesiastic;
and there is a good deal of truth in this observation.

The Catholic Church, and many of the other Christian churches have seen
the wisdom of appealing to, and availing themselves of, the child-power
in social and socio-religious questions. Not a little of the great
spread of the temperance movement in America and Europe of recent years
is due to the formation of children's societies,--Bands of Hope, Blue
Ribbon Clubs, Junior Temperance Societies and Prohibition Clubs, Young
Templars' Associations, Junior Father Matthew Leagues, and the like,--
where a legitimate sphere is open to the ardour and enthusiasm of the
young of both sexes. The great Methodist Church has been especially
quick to recognize the value of this kind of work, and the junior
chapters of the "Epworth League"--whose object is "to promote
intelligence and loyal piety in its young members and friends and to
train them in experimental religion, practical benevolence, and church
work"--now numbers some three thousand, with a membership of about one
hundred and twenty thousand. This society was organized at Cleveland,
Ohio, May 15, 1889. The "Young People's Society of Christian Endeavour,"
the first society of which was established at Portland, Maine, February
2,1881, with the object of "promoting an earnest Christian life among
its members, increasing their mutual acquaintance, and making them more
useful in the service of God," has now enrolled nearly thirty-four
thousand "Companies," with a total membership (active and associate) all
over the world of over two million; of these societies 28,696 are in the
United States and 2243 in Canada. Another society of great influence,
having a membership in America and the Old World of some thirty-five
thousand, is the "Ministering Children's League," founded by the
Countess of Meath in 1885, and having as objects "to promote kindness,
unselfishness, and the habit of usefulness amongst children, and to
create in their minds an earnest desire to help the needy and suffering;
to give them some definite work to do for others, that this desire may
be brought to good effect"; there are also the "Lend-a-Hand Clubs" of
the Unitarian Church. The Episcopal Church has its "Girls' Friendly
Societies," its "Junior Auxiliaries to the Board of Missions"; its
"Brotherhood of St. Andrew," and "Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip," for
young men. For those of not too youthful years, the "Young Men's
Christian Association," the associations of the "White," "Red," and
"Iron Cross" exist in the various churches, besides many other "Guilds,"
"Alliances," "Leagues," etc. For those outside the churches there are
"Boys' Clubs," and "Girls' Societies" in the cities and larger towns.
The "Bands of Mercy" and the branches of the "Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals" exert a widespread influence for good; while
several of the secret benevolent associations, such as the "Foresters,"
for example, have instituted junior lodges, from which the youth are
later on drafted into the society of their elders. There exist also many
social clubs and societies, more or less under the supervision of the
older members of the community, in which phases of human life other than
the purely religious or benevolent find opportunity to display
themselves; and between these and the somewhat sterner church-societies
a connecting link is formed by the "Friday Night Clubs" of the Unitarian
Church and the "Young People's Associations" of other liberal
denominations. In the home itself, this society instinct is recognized,
and the list of children's teas, dinners, parties, "receptions,"
"doll-parties," "doll-shows," etc., would be a long one. Among all
peoples, barbarous as well as civilized, since man is by nature a social
animal, the instinct for society develops early in the young, and the
sociology of child-hood offers a most inviting field for research and
investigation both in the Old World and in the New.



  But what am I?
  An infant crying in the night:
  An infant crying for the light,
  And with no language but a cry.--Tennyson.

  Yet she carried a doll as she toddled alone,
  And she talked to that doll in a tongue her own.--Joaquin Miller.

  Among savages, children are, to a great extent, the originators
  of idiomatic diversities.--Charles Rau.

It was as impossible for the first child endowed with this faculty not
to speak in the presence of a companion similarly endowed, as it would
be for a nightingale or a thrush not to carol to its mate. The same
faculty creates the same necessity in our days, and its exercise by
young children, when accidentally isolated from the teachings and
influence of grown companions, will readily account for the existence of
all the diversities of speech on our globe.--Horatio Hale.

Some scientists have held that mankind began with the _Homo
Alalus_, speechless, dumb man, an hypothesis now looked npon by the
best authorities as untenable; and the folk have imagined that, were not
certain procedures gone through with upon the new-born child, it would
remain dumb through life, and, if it were allowed to do certain things,
a like result would follow. Ploss informs us that the child, and the
mother, while she is still suckling it, must not, in Bohemia, eat fish,
else, since fish are mute, the child would be so also; in Servia, the
child is not permitted to eat any fowl that has not already crowed, or
it would remain dumb for a very long time; in Germany two little
children, not yet able to speak, must not kiss each other, or both will
be dumb.

_The Frenum._

Our English phrase, "an unbridled tongue," has an interesting history
and _entourage_ of folk-lore. The subject has been quite recently
discussed by Dr. Chervin, of the Institute for Stammerers at Paris
(205). Citing the lines of Boileau:--

  "Tout charme en un enfant dont la langue sans fard,
  A peine du filet encore debarrassee
  Sait d'un air innocent begayer sa pensee,"

he notes the wide extension of the belief that the cutting of the
_filet,_ or _frein,_ the _frenum,_ or "bridle" of the
tongue of the newborn infant facilitates, or makes possible, articulate
speech. According to M. Sebillot, the cutting of the _sublet,_ as
it is called, is quite general in parts of Brittany (Haute Bretagne),
and M. Moisset states that in the Yonne it is the universal opinion that
neglect to do so would cause the new-born child to remain dumb for life;
M. Desaivre cites the belief in Poitou that, unless the _lignoux_
were cut in the child at birth, it would prevent its sucking, and, later
on, its speaking. The operation is usually performed by nurses and
midwives, with the nail of the little finger, which is allowed to grow
excessively long for the purpose (205. 6). Dr. Chervin discusses the
scientific aspects of the subject, and concludes that the statistics of
stammering and the custom of cutting the _frenum_ of the tongue do
not stand in any sort of correlation with each other, and that this
ancient custom, noted by Celsus, has no real scientific _raison
d'etre_ (205. 9). We say that a child is "tongue-tied," and that one
"makes too free with his tongue"; in French we find: _Il a le filet
bien coupe,_ "he is a great talker," and in the eighteenth century
_Il n'a pas de filet_ was in use; a curious German expression for
"tongue-tied" is _mundfaul,_ "mouth-lazy."

Following up the inquiry of Dr. Chervin in France, M. Hofler of Tolz has
begun a similar investigation for Germany (263). He approves of the
suggestion of Dr. Chervin, that the practice of cutting the
_frenum_ of the tongue has been induced by the inept name
_frenulwm, frein, Bändchen,_ given by anatomists to the object in
question. According to H. Carstens the _frenulum_ is called in Low
German _keekel-reem_ or _kikkel-reem,_ which seems to be
derived from _käkeln,_ "to cry, shriek," and _reem,_ "band,
cord," so that the word really signifies "speech-band." If it is cut in
children who have difficulty in speaking before the first year of life,
or soon after, they will be cured of stuttering and made to speak well.
To a man or woman who does a good deal of talking, who has "the gift of
the gab," the expression _Em (ehr) is de keekelreem gut snaden_ =
"His (her) _frenum_ has been well cut," is applied. In some parts
of Low Germany the operation is performed for quite a different reason,
viz., when the child's tongue cannot take hold of the mother's breast,
but always slips off. Hofler mentions the old custom of placing beneath
the child's tongue a piece of ash-bark (called _Schwindholz_), so
that the organ of speech may not vanish (schwinden); this is done in the
case of children who are hard of speech (263.191, 281).

Ploss states that in Konigsberg (Prussia) tickling the soles of the feet
of a little child is thought to occasion stuttering; in Italy the child
will learn to stutter, unless, after it has been weaned, it is given to
drink for the first time out of a hand-bell (326. II. 286).

Among the numerous practices in vogue to hasten the child's acquisition
of speech, or to make him ready and easy of tongue, are the following:
some one returned from the communion breathes into the child's mouth
(Austrian Silesia); the mother, when, after supper on Good Friday, she
suckles the child for the last time, breathes into its mouth (Bohemia);
the, child is given to drink water out of a cow-bell (Servia); when the
child, on the arm of its mother, pays the first visit to neighbours or
friends, it is presented with three eggs, which are pressed three times
to his mouth, with the words, "as the hens cackle, the child learns to
prattle" (Thuringia, the Erzgebirge, Bavaria, Franconia, and the Harz);
when a child is brought to be baptized, one of the relatives must make a
christening-letter (_Pathenbrief_), and, with the poem or the money
contained in it, draw three crosses through the mouth of the child
(Konigsberg) (326. II. 205).


Ploss has a few words to say about "Volksgebrauchliche Sprach-
Exercitien," or "Zungen-Exercitien," the folk-efforts to teach the child
to overcome the difficulties of speech (326. II. 285, 286), and more
recently Treichel (373) has treated in detail of the various methods
employed in Prussia. In these exercises examples and difficult words are
given in several languages, alliteration, sibilation, and all quips and
turns of consonantal and vocalic expression, word-position, etc., are in
use to test the power of speech alike of child and adult. Treichel
observes that in the schools even, use is made of foreign geographical
names, names of mountains in Asia, New Zealand, and Aztec names in
Mexico; the plain of _Apapurinkasiquinilschiquasaqua_, from
Immermann's _Munchhausen_, is also cited as having been put to the
like use. The title of doctors' dissertations in chemistry are also
recommended (373. 124).

Following are examples of these test sentences and phrases from

(1) Acht und achtzig achteckige Hechtskopfe; (2) Bierbrauer Brauer braut
braun Bier; (3) De donue Diewel drog den dicke Diewel dorch den dicke
Dreek; (4) Esel essen Nosseln gern; (5) In Ulm imd um Ulm und urn Ulm
herum; (6) Wenige wissen, wie viel sie wissen mussen, um zu wissen, wie
wenig sie wissen; (7) Es sassen zwei zischende Schlangen zwischen zwei
spitzigen Steinen und zischten dazwischen; (8) Nage mal de Boll Boll
Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll Boll; (9) Fritz, Fritz, friss frische
Fische, Fritz; (10) Kein klein Kind kann keinen kleinen Kessel Kohl

There are alliterative sentences for all the letters of the alphabet,
and many others more or less alliterative, while the humorous papers
contain many exaggerated examples of this sort of thing. Of the last,
the following on "Hottentottentaten" will serve as an instance:--

 "In dem wilden Land der Kaftern,
  Wo die Hottentotten trachten
  Holie Hottentottentitel
  Zu erwerben in den Schlachten,
  Wo die Hottentottentaktik
  Lasst ertonen fern und nah
  Auf dem Hottentottentamtam
  Wo die Hottentottentrotteln,
  Eh' sie stampfen stark und kuhn.
  An sioh selber erst vollzieh'n,
  Wo die Hottentotten tuten
  Auf dem Horn voll Eleganz
  Und nachher mit Grazie tanzen
  Dorten bin ich mal gewesen
  Und iclh habe schwer gelitten,
  Weil ich Hottentotten trotzte,
  Unter Hottentottentritten;
  So 'ne Hottentottentachtel,
  Die ist nämlich fürchterlich
  Und ich leid' noch heute
  An dem Hottentottentatterich" (373. 222).

In our older English, and American readers and spelling-books we meet
with much of a like nature, and the use of these test-phrases and
sentences has not yet entirely departed from the schools. Familiar are:
"Up the high hill he heaved a huge round stone; around the rugged riven
rock the ragged rascal rapid ran; Peter Piper picked a peck of prickly
pears from the prickly-pear trees on the pleasant prairies," and many
others still in use traditionally among the school-children of to-day,
together with linguistic exercises of nonsense-syllables and the like,
pronouncing words backwards, etc.

In French we have: (1) L'origine ne se désoriginalisera jamais de son
originalité; (2) A la santé de celle, qui tient la sentinelle devant la
citadelle de votre coeur! (3) Car Didon dina, dit-on, Du dos d'un dodu

In Polish: (1) Bydlo bylo, bydlo bedzie (It was cattle, it remains
cattle); (2) Podawala baba babie przez piec malowane grabie (A woman
handed the woman over the stove a painted rake); (3) Chrzaszcz brzmi w
trzinie (The beetle buzzes in the pipe). Latin and Greek are also made
use of for similar purpose. Treichel cites, among other passages, the
following: (1) Quamuis sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere tentant (Ovid,
_Metam._ VI. 376); (2) At tuba terribili sonitu taratantara dixit
(Virgil, _Aen._ IX. 503); (3) Quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit
ungula campum (Virgil, _Aen._ VIII. 596); (4) [Greek: _Aytis
epeita pedonde kylindeto lâas anchidaês_] (Homer, Odyss. II. 598);
(5) [Greek: _Trichthà te kaì tétrachthà diéschesen ìs ánémoio_]
(Homer, Odyss. IX. 71, II. III. 363); (6) [Greek: _'O mákar 'Adreídae
moiraegenès ólbiodaímon_] (Homer, _Il._ III. 182). These customs
are not confined, however, to the civilized nations of Europe. Dr.
Pechuel-Loesche tells us that, among the negroes of the Loango coast of
Africa, the mother teaches the child little verses, just as illogical as
the test-sentences often are which are employed in other parts of the
world, and containing intentionally difficult arrangements of words. The
child whose skilful tongue can repeat these without stumbling, is shown
to visitors and is the cause of much admiration and merriment. And this
exhibition of the child's linguistic and mnemonic powers finds vogue
among other races than those of the dark continent (373. 125).


A very curious development of child-linguistics is seen in the so-called
_ABC Rhymes_. H. A. Carstensen reports from Risummoor in Low
Germany the following arrangement and interpretation of the letters of
the alphabet (199. 55):--

  A--Aewel  B--baeget  C(K)--Kaege
  A--Abel   B--bakes   C(K)--cakes.

  D--Detlef  E--ët    F--fåle.
  D--Detlef  E--eats  F--much.

  G--Grutte  H--Hans  J--jaeget K--Kraege.
  G--Great   H--Jack  J--hunts  K--crows.

  L--Lotte  M--maeget  N--noerne.
  L--Lütje  M--makes   N--names.

  O--Okke  P--plökket  Q--Kuerde.
  O--Okke  P--makes    Q--wool-cards.

  R--Rikkert  S--sâit  T--tuffle.
  R--Richard  S--sews  T--slippers

  U--Uethet   V--Volkert  W--waeder?
  U--Fetches  V--Volkert  W--water?

From the North Frisian islands of Silt and Föhr the following ABC rhymes
have been recorded, consisting mostly of personal names (199. 192):--

1. From Silt: _A_nna _B_oyken, _C_hristian _D_ojken,
_E_rkel _F_redden, _G_ondel _H_ansen, _J_ens
_K_uk, _L_orenz _M_ommen, _N_iels _O_tten,
_P_eter _Q_uotten, _R_ink _S_wennen, _T_heide
_U_wen, _V_olkert, _W_ilhelm, exerzére.

2. From Föhr: _A_rest _B_uhn, _C_ike _D_uhn,
_E_hlen _F_rödden, _G_irre _H_ayen, _I_ngke
_K_ayen, _L_urenz _M_unje, _N_ahmen _O_tt,
_P_eter _Q_uott, _R_ekkert _s_kär, _T_rintje
_u_m, qui _w_eg, _x, y, z_.

3. From Föhr: _A_ntje _b_rawt; _C_isele _d_rug;
_E_hlen _f_ald; _G_öntje _h_olp; _I_ngke
_k_näd; _L_ena _m_äd; _N_ahmen _O_kken;
_P_eter _Q_uast;

_R_örd _R_ütjer; _S_ab _S_ütjer; _S_onk
_S_tein; _T_hur _O_rdert; _W_ögen _w_uhlet;
_Y_ng _Z_uhlet.

From Ditmarschen we have the following (199. 290):--

1. From Süderstapel in Stapelholm: _A-B_eeter, _C-D_eeter,
_E-_E_f_ter, _G-H_ater, _I-K_ater,
_L-_E_m_der, _N-O_ter, _P_eter Rüster sien Swester
harr Büxsen von Manchester, harr'n Kleed vun Kattun, weer Köfft bi Jud'n
(Peter Rüster his sister has breeches from Manchester, has a dress of
cotton, who buys of Jews).

2. From Tönningstedt and Feddringen: _A-B_eeter, _C-D_eeter,
_E-E_fter, _G-H_ater, _J-K_ater, _L-_E_m_der,
_N-O_ter, _P-_K_u_ter, _L-_E_s_ter,
_T-U_ter, _V-W_eeter, _X-Z_eeter.

In Polish we have a rather curious rhyme (199. 260): _A_dam
_B_abkie _C_ukier _D_al, _E_wa _F_igi
_G_ryzla; _H_anko, _J_eko, _K_arol _L_erch
_N_osi _O_rla _P_apa _R_uskigo (Adam to the old
woman sugar gave, Eve figs nibbled; Hanko, Jeko, Karol, and Lerch carry
the eagle of the Ruthenian priest). Another variant runs: _A_dam
_B_abi _C_ucker _d_aje _E_wa _f_igi
_g_rizi _H_ala, _i_dzie _K_upic' _l_ala
_m_ama _n_ie _p_ozwala (199. 150).

At Elberfeld, according to O. Schell, the following rhyme was in use
about the middle of this century (199. 42): _A_braham
_B_öckmann; _C_epter _D_ickmann; _E_ngel
_F_uawenkel; _G_retchen _H_ahn; _I_saak
_K_reier; _L_ottchen _M_eyer; _N_ikolas _O_lk;
_P_itter _Q_uack; _R_udolf _S_imon; _T_ante
_U_hler; _V_ater _W_ettschreck; _X_erxes

From Leipzig, L. Fränkel reports the following as given off in a singing
tone with falling rhythm:--

B a ba, b e be, b i bi--babebi; b o bo, b u bu--bobu; ba, be, bi, bo,
bu--babebibobu. C a ca (pron. _za,_ not _ka_), c e ce, c i ci
--caceci; c o co, c u cu--cocu; ca, ce, ci, co, cu-cacecicocu, etc.

From various parts of Ditmarschen come these rhymes:--
   A-B ab,                 |   A-B ab,
   Mus sitt in't Schapp,   |   Mouse sits in the cupboard,
   Kater darfår,           |   Cat in frount,
   Mak apen de Dår.        |   Open the door.

These child-rhymes and formulae from North Germany find their cognates
in our own nursery-rhymes and explanatory letter-lists, which take us
back to the very beginnings of alphabetic writing. An example is the

  "A was an Archer that shot at a frog,
   B was a Butcher that had a big dog," etc., etc.


Here belong also the curious formulæ known all over the United States
and English-speaking Canada, to which attention has recently been called
by Professor Frederick Starr. When the word _Preface_ is seen,
children repeat the words, "_P_eter _R_ice _E_ats
_F_ish _a_nd _C_atches _E_els," or backwards,
"_E_els _C_atch _A_lligators; _F_ather _E_ats
_R_aw _P_otatoes." Professor Starr says that the second
formula is not quite so common as the first; the writer's experience in
Canada leads him to express just the opposite opinion. Professor Starr
gives also formulæ for _Contents_ and _Finis_ as follows:
"_F_ive _I_rish _N_iggers _I_n _S_pain,"
backwards "_S_ix _I_rish _N_iggers _I_n
_F_rance"; "_C_hildren _O_ught _N_ot _T_o
_E_at _N_uts _T_ill _S_unday" (355. 55). Formulæ
like these appear to be widespread among school-children, who extract a
good deal of satisfaction from the magic meaning of these quaint

Another series of formulæ, not referred to by Professor Starr, is that
concerned with the interpretation of the numerous abbreviations and
initials found in the spelling-book and dictionary. In the manufacture
of these much childish wit and ingenuity are often expended. In the
writer's schoolboy days there was quite a series of such expansions of
the letters which stood for the various secret and benevolent societies
of the country. _I. O. G. T._ (Independent Order of Good Templars),
for example, was made into "I Often Get Tight (_i.e._ drunk),"
which was considered quite a triumph of juvenile interpretative skill.
Another effort was in the way of explaining the college degrees:
_B.A._ = "Big Ape," _M.A._ = "Matured Ape," _B.D._ =
"Bull-Dog," _LL.D._ = "Long-Legged Devil," etc. Still another class
is represented by the interpretations of the German _u. A. w. g._
(our R. S. V. P.), _i.e._ "um Antwort wird gebeten" (an answer is
requested), for which A. Treichel records the following renderings: um
Ausdauer wird gebeten (perseverance requested); und Abends wird getanzt
(and in the evening there is dancing); und Abends wird gegeigt (and in
the evening there is fiddling); und Abends wird gegessen (and in the
evening there is eating); und Andere werden gelästert (and others are
abused) (392. V. 114). This side of the linguistic inventiveness of
childhood, with its _double-entendre_, its puns, its
folk-etymologies, its keen discernment of hidden resemblances and
analogies, deserves more study than it has apparently received.

The formulae and expressions belonging to such games as marbles are
worthy of consideration, for here the child is given an opportunity to
invent new words and phrases or to modify and disfigure old ones.

_Formulae of Defiance, etc._

The formulae of defiance, insult, teasing, etc., rhymed and in prose,
offer much of interest. Peculiarities of physical constitution, mental
traits, social relationships, and the like, give play to childish fancy
and invention. It would be a long list which should include all the
material corresponding to such as the following, well known among
English-speaking school-children:--

  1. Georgie Porgie, Puddin' Pie,
     Kissed a girl and made her cry!
  2. Blue-eyed beauty,
     Do your mother's duty!
  3. Black eye, pick a pie,
     Turn around and tell a lie!
  4. Nigger, nigger, never-die,
     Black face and shiny eye!

Interesting is the following scale of challenging, which Professor J. P.
Fruit reports from Kentucky (430. 229):--

  "I dare you; I dog dare you; I double dog dare you.
   I dare you; I black dog dare you; I double black dog dare you."

The language of the school-yard and street, in respect to challenges,
fights, and contests of all sorts, has an atmosphere of its own, through
which sometimes the most clear-sighted older heads find it difficult to

The American Dialect Society is doing good work in hunting out and
interpreting many of these contributions of childhood to the great
mosaic of human speech, and it is to be hoped that in this effort they
will have the co-operation of all the teachers of the country, for this
branch of childish activity will bear careful and thorough


In the names of some of the plants with which they early come into
contact we meet with examples of the ingenuity of children. In Mrs.
Bergen's (400) list of popular American plant-names are included some
which come from this source, for example: "frog-plant (_Sedum
Telephium_)," from the children's custom of "blowing up a leaf so as
to make the epidermis puff up like a frog"; "drunkards (_Gaulteria
procumbens_)," because "believed by children to intoxicate";
"bread-and-butter (_Smilax rotundifolia_)," because "the young
leaves are eaten by children"; "velvets (_Viola pedata_)," a
corruption of the "velvet violets" of their elders; "splinter-weed
(_Antennaria plantaginifolia_)," from "the appearance of the
heads"; "ducks (_Cypripedium_)," because "when the flower is partly
filled with sand and set afloat on water, it looks like a duck";
"pearl-grass (_Glyceria Canadensis_)," a name given at Waverley,
Massachusetts, "by a few children, some years ago." This list might
easily be extended, but sufficient examples have been given to indicate
the extent to which the child's mind has been at work in this field.
Moreover, many of the names now used by the older members of the
community, may have been coined originally by children and then adopted
by the others, and the same origin must probably be sought out for not a
few of the folk-etymologies and word-distortions which have so puzzled
the philologists.


In an interesting paper on "physonyms,"--_i.e._ "words to which
their signification is imparted by certain physiological processes,
common to the race everywhere, and leading to the creation of the same
signs with the same meaning in totally sundered linguistic
stocks"--occurs the following passage (193. cxxxiii.):--

"One of the best known and simplest examples is that of the widespread
designation of 'mother' by such words as _mama_, _nana_,
_ana_; and of 'father' by such as _papa_, _baba_,
_tata_. Its true explanation has been found to be that, in the
infant's first attempt to utter articulate sounds, the consonants
_m_, _p_, and _t_ decidedly preponderate; and the natural
vowel _a_, associated with these, yields the child's first
syllables. It repeats such sounds as _ma-ma-ma_ or _pa-pa-pa_,
without attaching any meaning to them; the parents apply these sounds to
themselves, and thus impart to them their signification."

Other physonyms are words of direction and indication of which the
radical is _k_ or _g_; the personal pronouns radical in
_n_, _m_ (first person), _k, t, d_ (second person); and
demonstratives and locatives whose radical is _s_. The frequency of
these sounds in the language of children is pointed out also by Tracy in
his monograph on the psychology of childhood. In the formation and
fixation of the onomatopes with which many languages abound some share
must be allotted to the child. A recent praiseworthy study of onomatopes
in the Japanese language has been made by Mr. Aston, who defines an
onomatope as "the artistic representation of an inarticulate sound or
noise by means of an articulate sound" (394. 333). The author is of
opinion that from the analogy of the lower animals the inference is to
be drawn that "mankind occupied themselves for a long time with their
own natural cries before taking the trouble to imitate for purposes of
expression sounds not of their own making" (394. 334). The latter
process was gradual and extended over centuries. For the child or the
"child-man" to imitate the cry of the cock so successfully was an
inspiration; Mr. Aston tells us that "the formation of a word like
_cock-a-doodle-do_, is as much a work of individual genius as
Hamlet or the Laocoön" (394. 335). Of certain modern aspects of
onomatopœia the author observes: "There is a kindred art, viz. that of
the _exact_ imitation of animal cries and other sounds,
successfully practised by some of our undergraduates and other young
people, as well as by tame ravens and parrots. It probably played some
part in the development of language, but I can only mention it here"
(394. 333).

_College Yells._

The "college yells" of the United States and Canada offer an inviting
field for study in linguistic atavism and barbaric vocal expression. The
_New York World Almanac_ for 1895 contains a list of the "yells" of
some three hundred colleges and universities in the United States. Out
of this great number, in which there is a plenitude of "Rah! rah! rah!"
the following are especially noteworthy:--

_Benzonia:_ Kala, kala, kala! Sst, Boom, Gah! Benzo, Benzon-iah!

_Buchtel:_ Ye-ho! Ye-hesa! Hisa! Wow wow! Buchtel!

_Dartmouth:_ Wah, who, wah! wah who wah! da-da-da, Dartmouth! wah
who wah! T-i-g-e-r!

_Heidelberg:_ Killi-killick! Rah, rah, Zik, zik! Ha! Ha! Yi! Hoo!
Baru! Zoo! Heidelberg!

The "yell" of _Ohio Wesleyan University_, "O-wee-wi-wow!
Ala-ka-zu-ki-zow! Ra-zi-zi-zow! Viva! Viva! O. W. U.!" is enough to make
the good man for whom the institution is named turn uneasily in his
grave. The palm must, however, be awarded to the _University of North
Dakota_, whose remarkable "yell" is this: "Odz-dzo-dzi! Ri-ri-ri!
Hy-ah! Hy-ah! North Dakota! and Sioux War-Cry." Hardly have the
ancestors of Sitting Bull and his people suspected the immortality that
awaited their ancient slogan. It is curious that the only "yell" set to
proper music is that of the girls of _Wellesley College_, who sing
their cheer, "Tra la la la, Tra la la la, Tra la la la la la la,
W-E-L-L-E-S-L-E-Y, Welles-ley."

As is the case with other practices in collegiate life, these "yells"
seem to be making their way down into the high and grammar schools, as
well as into the private secondary schools, the popularity and
excitement of field-sports and games, baseball, foot-ball, etc., giving
occasion enough for their frequent employment.

Here fall also the spontaneous shouts and cries of children at work and
at play, the _Ki-yah!_ and others of a like nature whose number is
almost infinite.

Mr. Charles Ledyard Norton, in his _Political Americanisms_ (New
York, 1890), informs us that "the peculiar staccato cheer, 'rah, rah,
rah!'" was probably invented at Harvard in 1864. In the Blaine campaign
of 1884 it was introduced into political meetings and processions
together with "the custom, also borrowed from the colleges, of spelling
some temporarily significant catch-word in unison, as, for instance,
'S-o-a-p!' the separate letters being pronounced in perfect time by
several hundred voices at once." The same authority thinks that the idea
of calling out "Blaine--Blaine--James G. Blaine!" in cadenced measure
after the manner of the drill-sergeants,
"Left--left--left--right--left!" an idea which had many imitations and
elaborations among the members of both the great political parties, can
be traced back to the Columbia College students (p. 120).

_The Child as an Innovator in Language._

But the role of the child in the development of language is concerned
with other things than physonyms and onomatopes. In his work on
Brazilian ethnography and philology, Dr. von Martius writes (522. 43):
"A language is often confined to a few individuals connected by
relationship, forming thus, as it were, _a family institute_, which
isolates those who use it from all neighbouring or distant tribes so
completely that an understanding becomes impossible." This intimate
connection of language with the family, this preservation and growth of
language, as a family institution, has, as Dr. von Martius points out,
an interesting result (522. 44):--

"The Brazilians frequently live in small detachments, being kept apart
by the chase; sometimes only a few families wander together; often it is
one family alone. Within the family the language suffers a constant
remodelling. One of the children will fail to catch precisely the
radical sound of a word; and the weak parents, instead of accustoming it
to pronounce the word correctly, will yield, perhaps, themselves, and
adopt the language of the child. We often were accompanied by persons of
the same band; yet we noticed in each of them slight differences in
accentuation and change of sound. His comrades, however, understood him,
and they were understood by him. As a consequence, their language never
can become stationary, but will constantly break off into new dialects."
Upon these words of von Martius (reported by Dr. Oscar Peschel), Dr.
Charles Rau comments as follows (522. 44): "Thus it would seem that,
among savages, _children_ are to a great extent the originators of
idiomatic diversities. Dr. Peschel places particular stress on this
circumstance, and alludes to the habit of over-indulgent parents among
refined nations of conforming to the humours of their children by
conversing with them in a kind of infantine language, until they are
several years old. Afterward, of course, the rules of civilized life
compel these children to adopt the proper language; but no such
necessity exists among a hunter family in the primeval forests of South
America; here the deviating form of speech remains, and the foundation
of a new dialect is laid."

_Children's Languages._

But little attention has been paid to the study of the language of
children among primitive people. In connection with a brief
investigation of child-words in the aboriginal tongues of America, Mr.
Horatio Hale communicated to the present writer the following
observation of M. l'Abbé Cuoq, of Montreal, the distinguished missionary
and linguist: "As far as the Iroquois in particular are concerned, it is
certain that this language [langage enfantin] is current in every
family, and that the child's relatives, especially the mothers, teach it
to their children, and that the latter consequently merely repeat the
words of which it is composed" (201. 322). That these "child-words" were
invented by children, the Abbé does not seem to hint.

The prominence of the mother-influence in the child's linguistic
development is also accentuated by Professor Mason, who devotes a
chapter of his recent work on woman's part in the origin and growth of
civilization to woman as a linguist. The author points out how "women
have helped to the selection and preservation of language through
onomatopoeia," their vocal apparatus being "singularly adapted to the
imitation of many natural sounds," and their ears "quick to catch the
sounds within the compass of the voice" (113. 188-204). To the female
child, then, we owe a good deal of that which is now embodied in our
modern speech, and the debt of primitive races is still greater. Many a
traveller has found, indeed, a child the best available source of
linguistic information, when the idling warriors in their pride, and the
hard-working women in their shyness, or taboo-caused fear, failed to
respond at all to his requests for talk or song.

Canon Farrar, in his _Chapters on Language_, makes the statement:
"It is a well-known fact that the neglected children, in some of the
Canadian and Indian villages, who are left alone for days, can and do
invent for themselves a sort of _lingua franca_, partially or
wholly unintelligible to all except themselves" (200. 237). Mr. W. W.
Newell speaks of the linguistic inventiveness of children in these terms
(313. 24):--

"As infancy begins to speak by the free though unconscious combination
of linguistic elements, so childhood retains in language a measure of
freedom. A little attention to the jargons invented by children might
have been serviceable to certain philologists. Their love of originality
finds the tongue of their elders too commonplace; besides, their
fondness for mystery requires secret ways of communication. They,
therefore, often create (so to speak) new languages, which are formed by
changes in the mother-speech, but sometimes have quite complicated laws
of structure and a considerable arbitrary element." The author cites
examples of the "Hog Latin" of New England schoolchildren, in the
elaboration of which much youthful ingenuity is expended. Most
interesting is the brief account of the "cat" language:--

"A group of children near Boston invented the _cat language_, so
called because its object was to admit of free intercourse with cats, to
whom it was mostly talked, and by whom it was presumed to be
comprehended. In this tongue the cat was naturally the chief subject of
nomenclature; all feline positions were observed and named, and the
language was rich in such epithets, as Arabic contains a vast number of
expressions for _lion_. Euphonic changes were very arbitrary and
various, differing for the same termination; but the adverbial ending
_-ly_ was always _-osh; terribly, terriblosh_. A certain
percentage of words were absolutely independent, or at least of obscure
origin. The grammar tended to Chinese or infantine simplicity; _ta_
represented any case of any personal pronoun. A proper name might vary
in sound according to the euphonic requirements of the different
Christian names by which it was preceded. There were two dialects, one,
however, stigmatized as _provincial_. This invention of language
must be very common, since other cases have fallen under our notice in
which children have composed dictionaries of such" (313. 25).

This characterization of child-speech offers not a few points of contact
with primitive languages, and might indeed almost have been written of
one of them.

More recently Colonel Higginson (262) has given some details of "a
language formed for their own amusement by two girls of thirteen or
thereabouts, both the children of eminent scientific men, and both
unusually active-minded and observant." This dialect "is in the most
vivid sense a living language," and the inventors, who keep pruning and
improving it, possess a manuscript dictionary of some two hundred words,
which, it is to be hoped, will some day be published. An example or two
from those given by Colonel Higginson will serve to indicate the general
character of the vocabulary:--

_bojiwassis_, "the feeling you have just before you jump, don't you
know--when you mean to jump and want to do it, and are just a little bit
afraid to do it."

_spygri_, "the way you feel when you have just jumped and are
awfully proud of it."

_pippadolify_, "stiff and starched like the young officers at

Other information respecting this "home-made dialect," with its revising
academy of children and its standard dictionary, must be sought in the
entertaining pages of Colonel Higginson, who justly says of this triumph
of child-invention: "It coins thought into syllables, and one can see
that, if a group of children like these were taken and isolated until
they grew up, they would forget in time which words were their own and
which were in Worcester's Dictionary; and _stowish_ and
_krono_ and _bojiwassis_ would gradually become permanent
forms of speech" (262. 108).

In his valuable essay on _The Origin of Languages_ (249), Mr.
Horatio Hale discusses a number of cases of invention of languages by
children, giving interesting, though (owing to the neglect of the
observers) not very extensive, details of each.

One of the most curious instances of the linguistic inventiveness of
children is the case of the Boston twins (of German descent on the
mother's side) born in 1860, regarding whose language a few details were
given by Miss E. H. Watson, who says: "At the usual age these twins
began to talk, but, strange to say, _not_ their 'mother-tongue.'
They had a language of their own, and no pains could induce them to
speak anything else. It was in vain that a little sister, five years
older than they, tried to make them speak their _native
language_,--as it would have been. They persistently refused to utter
a syllable of English. Not even the usual first words, 'papa,' 'mamma,'
'father,' 'mother,' it is said, did they ever speak; and, said the lady
who gave this information to the writer,--who was an aunt of the
children, and whose home was with them,--they were never known during
this interval to call their mother by that name. They had their own name
for her, but never the English. In fact, though they had the usual
affections, were rejoiced to see their father at his returning home each
night, playing with him, etc., they would seem to have been otherwise
completely taken up, absorbed, with each other.... The children had not
yet been to school; for, not being able to speak their 'own English,' it
seemed impossible to send them from home. They thus passed the days,
playing and talking together in their own speech, with all the
liveliness and volubility of common children. Their accent was
_German_,--as it seemed to the family. They had regular words, a
few of which the family learned sometimes to distinguish; as that, for
example, for carriage [_ni-si-boo-a_], which, on hearing one pass
in the street, they would exclaim out, and run to the window" (249. 11).
We are further informed that, when the children were six or seven years
old, they were sent to school, but for a week remained "perfectly mute";
indeed, "not a sound could be heard from them, but they sat with their
eyes intently fixed upon the children, seeming to be watching their
every motion,--and no doubt, listening to every sound. At the end of
that time they were induced to utter some words, and gradually and
naturally they began, for the first time, to learn their 'native
English.' With this accomplishment, the other began also naturally to
fade away, until the memory with the use of it passed from their mind"
(249. 12).

Mr. Horatio Hale, who resumes the case just noticed in his address
before the Anthropological Section of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (Buffalo, 1886), gives also valuable details of
the language of a little four-year-old girl and her younger brother in
Albany, as reported by Dr. E. R. Hun (249. 13). The chief facts are as
follows: "The mother observed when she was two years old that she was
backward in speaking, and only used the words 'papa' and 'mamma.' After
that she began to use words of her own invention, and though she readily
understood what was said, never employed the words used by others.
Gradually she extended her vocabulary until it reached the extent
described below [at least twenty-one distinct words, many of which were
used in a great variety of meanings]. She has a brother eighteen months
younger than herself, who has learned her language, so that they talk
freely together. He, however, seems to have adopted it only because he
has more intercourse with her than with others; and in some instances he
will use a proper word with his mother, and his sister's word with her.
She, however, persists in using only her own words, though her parents,
who are uneasy about her peculiarity of speech, make great efforts to
induce her to use proper words."

More may be read concerning this language in the account of Dr. Hun
(published in 1868).

Mr. Hale mentions three other cases, information regarding which came to
him. The inventors in the first instance were a boy between four and
five years old, said to have been "unusually backward in his speech,"
and a girl a little younger, the children of a widower and a widow
respectively, who married; and, according to the report of an intimate
friend: "He and the little girl soon became inseparable playmates, and
formed a language of their own, which was unintelligible to their
parents and friends. They had names of their own invention for all the
objects about them, and must have had a corresponding supply of verbs
and other parts of speech, as their talk was fluent and incessant." This
was in Kingston, Ontario, Canada (249. 16).

The second case is that of two young children, twins, a boy and a girl:
"When they were three or four years old they were accustomed, as their
elder sister informs me, to talk together in a language which no one
else understood.... The twins were wont to climb into their father's
carriage in the stable, and 'chatter away,' as my informant says, for
hours in this strange language. Their sister remembers that it sounded
as though the words were quite short. But the single word which survives
in the family recollection is a dissyllable, the word for milk, which
was _cully_. The little girl accompanied her speech with gestures,
but the boy did not. As they grew older, they gradually gave up their
peculiar speech" (249. 17).

The third case cited by Mr. Hale is that of two little boys of Toronto,
Canada,--five or six years of age, one being about a year older than the
other, who attended a school in that city: "These children were left
much to themselves, and had a language of their own, in which they
always conversed. The other children in the school used to listen to
them as they chattered together, and laugh heartily at the strange
speech of which they could not understand a word. The boys spoke English
with difficulty, and very imperfectly, like persons struggling to
express their ideas in a foreign tongue. In speaking it, they had to eke
out their words with many gestures and signs to make themselves
understood; but in talking together in their own language, they used no
gestures and spoke very fluently. She remembers that the words which
they used seemed quite short" (249. 18).

Mr. Hale's studies of these comparatively uninvestigated forms of human
speech led him into the wider field of comparative philology and
linguistic origins. From the consideration of these data, the
distinguished ethnologist came to regard the child as a factor of the
utmost importance in the development of dialects and families of speech,
and to put forward in definite terms a theory of the origin and growth
of linguistic diversity and dialectic profusion, to the idea of which he
was led by his studies of the multitude of languages within the
comparatively restricted area of Oregon and California (249. 9).
Starting with the language-faculty instinct in the child, says Mr. Hale:
"It was as impossible for the first child endowed with this faculty not
to speak in the presence of a companion similarly endowed, as it would
be for a nightingale or a thrush not to carol to its mate. The same
faculty creates the same necessity in our days, and its exercise by
young children, when accidentally isolated from the teachings and
influence of grown companions, will readily account for the existence of
all the diversities of speech on our globe" (249. 47). Approaching, in
another essay, one of the most difficult problems in comparative
philology, he observes: "There is, therefore, nothing improbable in the
supposition that the first Aryan family--the orphan children, perhaps,
of some Semitic or Accadian fugitives from Arabia or Mesopotamia--grew
up and framed their new language on the southeastern seaboard of
Persia." Thus, he thinks, is the Aryo-Semitic problem most
satisfactorily solved (467. 675). In a second paper (250) on _The
Development of Language_, Mr. Hale restates and elaborates his theory
with a wealth of illustration and argument, and it has since won
considerable support from the scientists of both hemispheres.

Professor Romanes devotes not a few pages of his volume on _Mental
Evolution in Man_, to the presentation of Mr. Hale's theory and of
the facts upon which it is based (338. 138-144).

_Secret Languages._

That the use of secret languages and the invention of them by children
is widespread and prevalent at home, at school, in the playground, in
the street, is evident from the exhaustive series of articles in which
Dr. F. S. Krauss (281) of Vienna has treated of "Secret Languages." Out
of some two hundred forms and fashions there cited a very large
proportion indeed belong to the period of childhood and youth and the
scenes of boyish and girlish activity. We have languages for games, for
secret societies, for best friends, for school-fellows, for country and
town, for boys and girls, etc. Dr. Oscar Chrisman (206) has quite
recently undertaken to investigate the nature and extent of use of these
secret languages in America, with gratifying results. A study of the
child at the period in which the language-making instinct is most active
cannot be without interest to pedagogy, and it would not be without
value to inquire what has been the result of the universal neglect of
language-teaching in the primary and lower grade grammar
schools--whether the profusion of secret languages runs parallel with
this diversion of the child-mind from one of its most healthful and
requisite employments, or whether it has not to some extent atrophied
the linguistic sense.

The far-reaching ramifications of "secret languages" are evidenced by
the fact that a language called "Tut" by school-children of Gonzales,
Texas, is almost identical in its alphabet with the "Guitar Language,"
of Bonyhad, in Hungary, the "Bob Language," of Czernowitz, in Austria,
and another language of the same sort from Berg. The travels of the
Texas secret language are stated by Dr. Chrisman to be as follows: "This
young lady ... learned it from her mother's servant, a negro girl; this
girl learned it from a negro girl who got it at a female negro school at
Austin, Texas, where it was brought by a negro girl from Galveston,
Texas, who learned it from a negro girl who had come from Jamaica" (208.

Evidence is accumulating to show that these secret languages of children
exist in all parts of the world, and it would be a useful and
instructive labour were some one to collect all available material and
compose an exhaustive scientific monograph on the subject.

Interesting, for comparative purposes, are the secret languages and
jargons of adults. As Paul Sartori (528) has recently shown, the use of
special or secret languages by various individuals and classes in the
communities is widespread both in myth and reality. We find peculiar
dialects spoken by, or used in addressing, deities and evil spirits;
giants, monsters; dwarfs, elves, fairies; ghosts, spirits; witches,
wizards, "medicine men"; animals, birds, trees, inanimate objects. We
meet also with special dialects of secret societies (both of men and of
women); sacerdotal and priestly tongues; special dialects of princes,
nobles, courts; women's languages, etc.; besides a multitude of jargons,
dialects, languages of trades and professions, of peasants, shepherds,
soldiers, merchants, hunters, and the divers slangs and jargons of the
vagabonds, tramps, thieves, and other outcast or criminal classes.

Far-reaching indeed is the field opened by the consideration of but a
single aspect of child-speech, that doll-language which Joaquin Miller
so aptly notes:--

  "Yet she carried a doll, as she toddled alone,
   And she talked to that doll in a tongue her own."


Both the golden age of childhood and the golden age of love exercise a
remarkable influence upon language. Mantegazza, discussing "the desire
to merge oneself into another, to abase oneself, to aggrandize the
beloved," etc., observes: "We see it in the use of diminutives which
lovers and sometimes friends use towards each other, and which mothers
use to their children; we lessen ourselves thus in a delicate and
generous manner in order that we may be embraced and absorbed in the
circle of the creature we love. Nothing is more easily possessed than a
small object, and before the one we love we would change ourselves into
a bird, a canary--into any minute thing that we might be held utterly in
the hands, that we might feel ourselves pressed on all sides by the warm
and loving fingers. There is also another secret reason for the use of
diminutives. Little creatures are loved tenderly, and tenderness is the
supreme sign of every great force which is dissolved and consumes
itself. After the wild, passionate, impetuous embrace there is always
the tender note, and then diminutives, whether they belong to expression
or to language, always play a great part" (499. 137). The fondness of
boys for calling each other by the diminutives of their surnames belongs

In some languages, such as the Nipissing dialect of Algonkian in North
America, the Modern Greek or Romaic, Lowland Scotch, and Plattdeutsch,
the very frequent employment of diminutives has come to be a marked
characteristic of the common speech of the people. The love for
diminutives has, in some cases, led to a charm of expression in language
which is most attractive; this is seen perhaps at its best in Castilian,
and some of the Italian dialects (202 and 219). A careful study of the
influence of the child upon the forms of language has yet to be made.



  The child is a born actor.

  The world's a theatre, the earth a stage,
  Which God and Nature do with actors fill.--_Heywood_.

  Man is an imitative creature, and the foremost leads the flock.

_Imitative Games_.

In her article on _Imitation in Children_, Miss Haskell notes the
predilection of children for impersonation and dramatic expression,
giving many interesting examples. S. D. Warren, in a paper read before
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at the Brooklyn
Meeting, 1894 (_Proc_., Vol. xliii., p. 335), also notes these
activities of children, mentioning, among other instances, "an annual
celebration of the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown," "playing
railroad," playing at pulling hand fire-engines, as the representatives
of two rival villages.

The mention of the celebration of Cornwallis' surrender by children
brings up the question of the child as recorder. As historian and
chronicler, the child appears in the countless games in which he
preserves more or less of the acts, beliefs, and superstitions of our
ancestors. Concerning some of these, Miss Alice Gomme says: "It is
impossible that they have been invented by children by the mere effort
of imagination, and there is ample evidence that they have but carried
on interchangeably a record of events, some of which belong to the
earliest days of the nation" (242.11).

As Miss Gomme points out, many of the games of English children are
simply primitive dramas,--of the life of a woman ("When I was a Young
Girl"), of courtship and marriage ("Here comes Three Dukes a-Riding,"
"Poor Mary sits a-Weeping"), of funerals ("Jenny Jones," "Green
Gravel"), of border warfare ("We are the Rovers"), etc. Mr. W. W. Newell
had previously remarked the importance of the dramatic element in
children's games, citing as historical plays "Miss Jennia Jones"
(funeral), "Down she comes as White as Milk," "Green Gravel," "Uncle
John," "Barbara Allen," and others more or less partaking of this
character, based upon historical ballads, of some of which traces only
are now preserved.

By means of carved or graven images in wood or stone, given to children
as playthings or as targets to practise skill in shooting or striking
with miniature bow-and-arrow or spear, an early acquaintance is formed
with many animals. The imitation of animals, their habits and
peculiarities, often forms no small part of the dances and games of
children of the lower races.

_The Child as Actor_.

Wallaschek, in his study of the primitive drama and pantomime (546.
214-229), notes the presence of children as dancers and performers among
the Andaman Islanders, the Tagals of the Philippines, the Tahitians,
Fijis, Polynesians and other more or less primitive races. Of Tibet and
some portions of China Mr. Rockhill, in his _Diary of a Journey
through Mongolia, and Tibet, in 1891 and 1892_ (Washington, D. C.,
1894), informs us that the lads in every village give theatrical
performances, the companies of young actors being known as _Hsiao
sheng huei_, "young men's amateur theatrical company" (p. 68).

Among the aborigines of the New World we find also children as actors
and participants in the ceremonies and ritual performances of various
tribes. In certain ceremonials of the Sia, as Mrs. Stevenson informs us,
young children take part. A boy of eight was allowed to hear the sacred
songs on one occasion, and to witness the making of the
"medicine-water," but a boy of four was not permitted to be present; the
boy also took part in the dance (538. 79). In the rain ceremonial of the
"Giant Society," a little girl, eight years old, painted the fetiches
quite as dexterously as her elders, and took apparently quite as much
interest in the proceedings. In the rain ceremonial of the "Knife
Society," boys assist, and in the rain ceremonial of the Querränna, a
child (boy) with wand and rattle joins in the celebration of the rites,
"requiring no rousing to sing and bend his tiny body to the time of the
rattle, and joining in the calls upon the cloud-people to gather to
water the earth, with as much enthusiasm as his elders." When children,
boys or girls, are about ten or twelve years of age, and have, as the
Indians say, "a good head," they are initiated, if they so desire, into
some of the mysteries of the dances of the Ka'tsuna, in charge of the
Querränna Society (538. 106-117).

Dr. J. W. Fewkes, in his detailed article on the _Flute Observance_
of the Tusayan Indians of Walpi, an interesting study of primitive
dramatization, notes the part played by children in these ceremonies.
The principal characters are the "Snake Boy," the "Snake Girl," and some
girl carriers of the sacred corn, besides lads as acolytes.

The story of the child as an actor has yet to be written. When the
ancient Greeks crowded the theatres to hear and see the masterpieces of
dramatic and histrionic genius, their "women, slaves, and children" were
for the most part left at home, though we do find that later on in
history, front seats were provided for the chief Athenian priestesses.
No voices of children were heard in chorus, and childhood found no true
interpreter upon the stage. In France, in the middle of the seventeenth
century, women appear as actors; in England it was not until long after
the death of her greatest dramatist that (in 1660) women could fill a
_rôle_ upon the stage without serious hindrance or molestation; in
Japan, even now, play-acting is not looked upon as a respectable
profession for women. For a long time in England and elsewhere, female
parts were taken by children and youths. Here also we meet with
companies of child-actors, such as the "Boys of the Grammar School at
Westminster," "The Children of Paul's," etc. The influence which
produced these survives and flourishes to-day in the fondness of
high-school pupils and university students for dramatic performances and
recitations, and the number of schools of gesture, elocution, and the
like, testifies to the abiding interest of the young in the mimic art.
This is also evidenced by the number of child actors and actresses in
the theatrical world, and the remarkable precocity of the members of the
profession in all lands. In England, the pantomime offers a special
outlet for this current of expression, and there the child is a most
important factor in stage-life. The precocity of girls in these respects
is noteworthy.

_The Child as Inventor_.

Borrowing his figure of speech from the environment of child-hood, C.
J. Weber has said: "_Die Gesellschaft ist die Grossmutter der
Menschkeit durch ihre Töchter, die Erfindungen_,--Society is the
grandmother of humanity through her daughters, the inventions," and the
familiar proverb--Necessity is the mother of invention--springs from
the same source. Isaac Disraeli aptly says: "The golden hour of
invention must terminate like other hours; and when the man of genius
returns to the cares, the duties, the vexations, and the amusements of
life, his companions behold him as one of themselves,--the creature of
habits and infirmities," and not a few of the "golden hours of
invention" seem to belong to the golden age of childhood. Even in these
"degenerate" days the child appears as an inventor. A contributor to the
periodical literature of the day remarks: "Children have taken out a
number of patents. The youngest inventor on record is Donald Murray
Murphy, of St. John, Canada, who, at the age of six years, obtained from
the United States exclusive rights in a sounding toy. Mabel Howard, of
Washington, at eleven years, invented an ingenious game for her invalid
brother and got a patent for it. Albert Gr. Smith, of Biehwood,
Illinois, at twelve years invented and patented a rowing apparatus"
(_Current Lit_., K T., xiv. 1893, p. 138).

The works of Newell (313), Bolton (187), Gomme (243), amply reveal the
riot of childish variation and invention in games and plays. Mr. Newell
observes: "It would be strange if children who exhibit so much inventive
talent [in language] did not contrive new games; and we find accordingly
that in many families a great part of the amusements of the children are
of their own devising. The earliest age of which the writer has
authentic record of such ingenuity is two and a half years" (313. 25).
And among the primitive peoples the child is not without like invention;
some, indeed, of the games our children play, were invented by the
savage young ones, whose fathers have been long forgotten in the mist of
prehistoric ages--the sports of their children alone surviving as
memorials of their existence.

Theal tells us that the Kaffir children, when not engaged in active
exercise, "amuse themselves by moulding clay into little images of
cattle, or by making puzzles with strings. Some of them are skilful in
forming knots with thongs and pieces of wood, which it taxes the
ingenuity of the others to undo. The cleverest of them sometimes
practise tricks of deception with grains of maize" (543. 221). The
distinguished naturalist, Mr. A. R. Wallace, while on his visit to the
Malay Archipelago, thought to show the Dyak boys of Borneo something new
in the way of the "cat's cradle," but found that he was the one who
needed to learn, for the little brown aborigines were able to show him
several new tricks (377. 25).

Miklucho-Maclay notes that among the Papuans of north-eastern New
Guinea, while the women showed no tendency to ornament pottery, young
boys "found pleasure in imprinting with their nails and a pointed stick
a sort of ornamental border on some of the pots" (42. 317).

Paola Lombroso, daughter of Professor Cesare Lombroso, the celebrated
criminologist, in her recent study of child psychology, observes: "Games
(and plays) are the most original creation of the child, who has been
able to create them, adapt them to his needs, making of them a sort of
gymnastics which enables him to develop himself without becoming
fatigued, and we, with the aid of memory, can hardly now lay hold of
that feeling of infinite, intense pleasure." Moreover, these popular
traditional plays and games, handed down from one generation to another
of children, "show how instinctive are these forms of muscular activity
and imitative expression, which have their roots in a true physiological
and psychic necessity, being a species of tirocinium for the experience
of childhood" (301. 136).

The _magnum opus_, perhaps, of the child as inventor, is the lyre,
the discovery of which, classical mythology attributes to the infant
Mercury or Hermes. Four hours after his birth the baby god is said to
have found the shell of a tortoise, through the opposite edges of which
he bored holes, and, inserting into these cords of linen, made the first
stringed instrument. The English poet, Aubrey de Vere, singing of an
Athenian girl, thus refers to the quaint myth:--

  "She loves to pace the wild sea-shore--
  Or drop her wandering fingers o'er
  The bosom of some chorded shell:
  Her touch will make it speak as well
  As infant Hermes made
  That tortoise in its own despite
  Thenceforth in Heaven a shape star-bright."



  Poeta nascitur, non fit.--_Latin Proverb_.

  As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
  I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.--_Pope_.

_The Child and Music_.

"Music," said quaint old Thomas Puller, "is nothing else but wild sounds
civilized into time and tune," and Wallaschek, in his recent volume on
_Primitive Music_, has shown how every nation under heaven, even
the most savage and barbarous of peoples, have had a share in the work
of civilization. Music has been called "the language of the gods," "the
universal speech of mankind," and, early in the golden age of childhood,
the heaven of infancy, is man made captive by "music's golden tongue."
As Wallaschek has said of the race, Tracy says of the individual, "no
healthy, normal child is entirely lacking in musical 'ear.'" The
children of primitive races enjoy music, as well as their fellows in
civilized communities. The lullaby, that _quod semper ubique et ab
omnibus_ of vocal art, early engages and entrances the infantile ear,
and from the musical demonstrations of his elders, the child is not
always or everywhere excluded. Indeed, the infant is often ushered into
the world amid the din and clamour of music and song which serve to
drown the mother's cries of pain, or to express the joy of the family or
the community at the successful arrival of the little stranger.

Education in music and the dance begins very early with many peoples. At
the school of midwifery at Abu-Zabel in Egypt, according to Clot-Bey, in
cases of difficult childbirth, a child is made to hop and dance about
between the legs of the mother in order to induce the foetus to imitate
it (125. II. 159).

As understudies and assistants to shamans, "medicine-men," and
"doctors," children among many primitive peoples soon become acquainted
with dance and song.

In Ashanti, boy musicians, singers, and dancers figure in the
processions of welcome of the chiefs and kings, and young girls are
engaged in the service of the fetiches (438. 258). At a funeral dance of
the Latuka, an African tribe, "the women remained outside the row of
dancers dancing a slow, stupid step, and screaming a wild and most
inharmonious chant, whilst boys and girls in another row beat time with
their feet." Burchell, while _en route_ for the Kaffir country,
found among certain tribes that "in the evening a whole army of boys
would come to his hut and listen with manifest pleasure to the tones of
his violin, and would repeat the melodies he played with surprising
accuracy" (546. 3, 199). The _meke-meke_, a dance of the Fiji
Islanders, "is performed by boys and girls for whom an old musician
plays"; at Tahiti the children "are early taught the 'ubus,' songs
referring to the legends or achievements of the gods," and "Europeans
have at times found pleasure in the pretty, plaintive songs of the
children as they sit in groups on the sea-shore" (546. 35, 180, 208). In
some of the Polynesian Islands, young girls are "brought up to dance the
timorodea, a most lascivious dance, and to accompany it with obscene
songs" (100. 62). At Tongatabu, according to Labillardiere, a young girl
"sang a song, the simple theme of which she repeated for half-an-hour"
(546. 31). Wallaschek calls attention to the importance of the child in
song in the following words (546. 75):--

"In some places the children, separated from the adults, sing choruses
among themselves, and under certain circumstances they are the chief
support of the practice of singing. On Hawaii, Ellis found boys and
girls singing in chorus, with an accompaniment of seven drums, a song in
honour of a quondam celebrated chief. Even during supper with the
Governor, table-music was performed by a juvenile bard of some twelve or
fourteen summers, who sang a monotonous song to the accompaniment of a
small drum.... In Fiji a man of position deems it beneath him to sing,
and he leaves it to his wife and children, so that women sing with women
only, and children with children."

Speaking of the natives of Australia, with whom he came into contact,
Beckler says "the octaves of the women and children at the performance
he attended were perfectly in tune, as one rarely hears in a modern
opera chorus, they were in exact accord." In the Kuri dance, witnessed
by Angas, a number of boys take part (546. 37, 223).

In New Guinea "the Tongala-up, a stick with a string whirled in the air,
is played by women and children." Among the Tagals of the Philippines,
Volliner found (with perhaps a little Spanish influence) "a chorus was
performed in a truly charming manner by twelve young girls formed in a
circle, one girl standing in the middle to direct." In the Andaman
Islands, where the men only, as a rule, sing, "the boys were far the
best performers" (546.24, 27, 75).

Among the Apache Indians of Arizona and Mexico, "old matrons and small
children dance until no longer able to stand, and stop for very
exhaustion" (546. 46).

_The Child as Poet_.

Victor Hugo, in one of his rhapsodies, exclaims: "The most sublime psalm
that can be heard on this earth is the lisping of a human soul from the
lips of childhood," and the rhythm within whose circle of influence the
infant early finds himself, often leads him precociously into the realm
of song. Emerson has said, "Every word was once a poem," and Andrew
Lang, in his facetious _Ballade of Primitive Man_, credits our
Aryan ancestors with speaking not in prose, but "in a strain that would
scan." In the statement of the philosopher there is a good nugget of
truth, and just a few grains of it in the words of the wit.

The analogy between the place and effect of rhythm, music, and poetry in
the life of the child and in the life of the savage has been frequently
noted. In his recent study of _Rhythm_ (405 a), Dr. Bolton has
touched up some aspects of the subject. With children "the habit of
rhyming is almost instinctive" and universal. Almost every one can
remember some little sing-song or nonsense-verse of his own invention,
some rhyming pun, or rhythmic adaptation. The enormous range of
variation in the wording of counting-out rhymes, game-songs, and
play-verses, is evidence enough of the fertility of invention of
child-poets and child-poetesses. Of the familiar counting-out formula
_Eeny, meeny, miny, mo_, the variants are simply legion.

The well-known lines of Pope:--

  "As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
  I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came,"

receive abundant illustration from the lives of the great geniuses of

Among primitive peoples, if anywhere, _poeta nascitur, non fit_. In
her article on _Indian Songs_, Miss Alice C. Fletcher says:
"Children make songs for themselves, which are occasionally handed down
to other generations. These juvenile efforts sometimes haunt the memory
in maturer years. An exemplary old man once sang to me a composition of
his childhood, wherein he had exalted the pleasures of disobedience; but
he took particular care that his children should not hear this
performance. Young men sing in guessing-games, as they gambol with their
companions, tossing from hand to hand a minute ball of buffalo hair or a
small pebble, moving their arms to the rhythm of the music." This, and
the following statement made of the Omaha Indians, will hold for not a
few other savage and barbarous tribes: "Children compose ditties for
their games, and young men add music to give zest to their sports"

Dr. F. Boas says of the Eskimo of Baffin Land (402. 572): "Children tell
one another fables and sing short songs, especially comic and satirical
ones." The heroes of the Basque legend of Aquelarre are thus described
by Miss Monteiro (505. 22):--

"Izar and Lanoa were two orphan children; the first was seven years of
age, and the latter nine. These poor children, true wandering bards,
frequented the mountains, earning a livelihood by singing ballads and
national airs in sweet, infantile voices, in return for a bed of straw
and a cupful of meal. Throughout the district these children were known
and loved on account of their sad state, as well as for their graceful
forms and winning ways."

Mr. Chatelain, in his recent work on African folk-tales, says of the
natives of Angola: "No Angola child finds difficulty at any time in
producing extemporaneous song."

Dr. Gatschet, in his study of the Klamath Indians, gives examples of
many songs composed and sung by young people, especially girls; and many
other Indian tribes, Algonkian, Iroquois, etc., possess such as well.
When Darwin reached Tahiti, his arrival was "sung by a young girl in
four improvised strophes, which her fellow-maidens accompanied in a
pretty chorus"; and among the song-loving people of the islands of the
South Sea, the poetic talent develops quite early in both sexes. Among
the aborigines of Peake River, in Australia, when a youth--at
puberty--has undergone the ceremony of tattooing, and, his wounds having
healed, is about to return to his fellows, "a young girl selected for
the purpose, sings in her own way a song which she has composed, and,
amid dancing, merriment, and feasting, the youth is welcomed back to his
family and his kin" (326. 11. 241). Throughout the Orient woman is a
dancer and a singer. India has her bayaderes and nautch-girls, whose
dancing and singing talents are world-known.

The Gypsies, too, that wander-folk of the world, are famed for their
love-songs and fortune-telling rhymes, which the youth and girlhood
among them so often know how to make and use. Crawford, who has
translated the Kalevala, the great epic of the Finns, tells us, "The
natural speech of this people is poetry. The young men and maidens, the
old men and matrons, in their interchange of ideas unwittingly fall into
verse" (423. I. xxvi.). Among the young herdsmen and shepherdesses of
the pastoral peoples of Europe and Asia, the same precocity of song
prevails. With songs of youth and maiden, the hills and valleys of
Greece and Italy resound as of old. In his essay on the _Popular Songs
of Tuscany_, Mr. J. A. Symonds observes (540. 600, 602): "Signor
Tigri records by name a little girl called Cherubina, who made
_Rispetti_ by the dozen, as she watched her sheep upon the hills."
When Signor Tigri asked her to dictate to him some of her songs, she
replied: "Oh Signore! ne dico tanti quando li canto! ... ma ora ...
bisognerebbe averli tutti in visione; se no, proprio non vengono,--Oh
Sir! I say so many, when I sing ... but now ... one must have them all
before one's mind ... if not, they do not come properly."
World-applicable as the boy grows out of childhood--with some little
change of season with the varying clime--are the words of Tennyson:--

  "In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of

and everywhere, if poetry and song be not indeed the very offspring of
love, they are at least twin-born with it.

Lombroso, in his discussion of the man of genius, gives many examples of
precocious poetical and musical talent: Dante (who at nine years of age
wrote sonnets), Tasso (wrote at ten years of age), Wieland (who wrote an
epic at 16), Lope de Vega (who wrote verses at 12), Calderoii (at 13),
Metastasio (who composed at 10), Handel (who wrote a mass at 13, and was
director of opera at 19), Eichhorn, Mozart, and Eibler (all three of
whom gave concerts at 6), Beethoven (who wrote sonatas at 13), Weber
(who wrote his first opera at 14), Cherubini (who wrote a mass at 15),
etc. (300.15).

Among English poets whose precocity was marked, we find the most
noteworthy to be Robert Browning, whose first poetic effusion is
ascribed to his fourth year. It is now known, however, that poetry is
much more common among children than was at first supposed, and early
compositions are not to be expected from geniuses alone, but often from
the scions of the ruder commonalty.

In her interesting study of individual psychology, Dr. Caroline Miles
informs us that out of ninety-seven answers to the question, "Did you
express yourself in any art-form before eighteen years of age?" fourteen
stated that the person replying used verses alone, fourteen used stories
and poetry, three used poetry and drawing or painting, two used poetry
and painting. Dr. Miles notes that "those who replied 'no' seemed to
take pride in the fact that they had been guilty of no such youthful
folly." This is in line with the belief parents sometimes express that
the son or daughter who poetizes early is "loony." Some who were not
ashamed of these child-expressions volunteered information concerning
them, and we learn: "Most interesting was one who wrote a tragedy at
ten, which was acted on a little stage for the benefit of her friends;
from ten to thirteen, an epic; at thirteen, sentimental and religious
poems" (310. 552, 553).

Dr. H. H. Donaldson, in his essay on the _Education of the Nervous
System_, cites the fact that of the musicians whose biographies were
examined by Sully, 95% gave promise before twenty years of age, and 100%
produced some work before reaching thirty; of the poets, 75% showed
promise before twenty, and 92% produced before they were thirty years of
age (216. 118). Precocity and genius seem to go together.



  The child is father of the man,--_Wordsworth_.

  And wiser than the gray recluse
  This child of thine.--_Whittier_.

  And still to Childhood's sweet appeal
  The heart of genius turns,
  And more than all the sages teach
  From lisping voices learns.--_Whittier_.

_Wisdom of Childhood_.

In his beautiful verses--forming part of one of the best child-poems in
our language--

  "And still to childhood's sweet appeal
    The heart of genius turns,
  And more than all the sages teach
    From lisping voices learns,"--

Whittier has expressed that instinctive faith in the wisdom of childhood
that seems perennial and pan-ethnic. Browning, in _Pippa's Song_,
has sounded even a deeper note:--

  "Overhead the tree-tops meet,
  Flowers and grass spring 'neath one's feet;
  There was nought above me, nought below,
  My childhood had not learned to know:
  For, what are the voices of birds
  --Aye, and of beasts,--but words, our words,
  Only so much more sweet?
  The knowledge of that with my life begun.
  But I had so near made out the sun,
  And counted your stars, the seven and one,
  Like the fingers of my hand:
  Nay, I could all but understand
  Wherefore through heaven the white moon ranges;
  And just when out of her soft fifty changes
  No unfamiliar face might overlook me--
  Suddenly God took me."

The power and wisdom of the child are quaintly and naively brought out
in the legends and folk-lore of the various races of men, not alone of
the present day, but of all eras of the world's history. As an
illustration of the truth contained in the words of a great child-lover,
"A little child shall lead them," and their echo in those of the Quaker

  "God hath his small interpreters;
  The child must teach the man,"

nothing could be more artless and natural than the following legend of
the Penobscot Indians of Maine, recorded by Mr. Leland, which tells of
the origin of the "crowing of babies" (488. 121):--

When Glooskap, the culture-hero of these Indians, had conquered all his
enemies, giants, sorcerers, magicians, evil spirits and ghosts, witches,
devils, goblins, cannibals, _et id genus omne_, pride rose within
him, and he said to a certain woman, that now his work was done, for he
had conquered all. But she told him that he was mistaken; there yet
remained "one whom no one has ever yet conquered or got the better of in
any way, and who will remain unconquered to the end of time." This was
_Wasis_, "the baby," who was sitting contentedly on the floor of
the wigwam chewing a piece of maple-sugar. The great Glooskap, so the
story runs, "had never married or had a child; he knew nought of the way
of managing children"--yet he thought he knew all about it. So he smiled
graciously at baby, and, "in a voice like that of a summer bird," bade
him come to him. But baby sat still and went on sucking his sugar. Then
Glooskap got angry, and in a terrible voice, ordered baby to crawl to
him at once. But baby merely cried out and yelled, stirring not. Then
Glooskap tried his last resort, magic, "using his most awful spells, and
singing the songs which raise the dead and scare the devils." Still baby
only smiled, and never budged an inch. At last the great Glooskap could
do no more; he gave up the attempt in despair, whereupon "baby, sitting
on the floor in the sunshine, went _'goo! goo!'_ and crowed
lustily." And to this day, the Indians, when they hear "a babe
well-contented going _'goo! goo!'_ and crowing, and no one can tell
why," know that it is because he "remembers the time when he overcame
the great Master, who had conquered all things. For of all beings that
have been since the beginning, baby is alone the invincible one."

Manabozho, the culture-hero of the Chippeways and other Algonkian tribes
of the Great Lakes, and probably identical with his eastern analogue,
Gluskap, was, like the latter, discomfited by a child. This is the

"One day Manabozho appeared upon the earth in an ill-humour. Walking
along, he espied a little child sitting in the sun, curled up with his
toe in his mouth. Somewhat surprised at this, and being of a dauntless
and boastful nature, he set himself down beside the child; and, picking
up his own toe, he essayed to place it in his mouth after the manner of
the child. He could not do it. In spite of all twisting and turning, his
toe could not be brought to reach his mouth. As he was getting up in
great discomfiture to get away, he heard a laugh behind him, and did no
more boasting that day, for he had been outwitted by a little child."

This characteristic attitude of the child has also been noted by the
folk-historians of India; for when, after the death of Brahma, the
waters have covered all the worlds, "Vishnu [the 'Preserver,' in the
Hindoo Trinity] sits, in the shape of a tiny infant, on a leaf of the
pipala (fig-tree), and floats on the sea of milk, sucking the toe of his
right foot" (440. 366), and, as Mrs. Emerson points out, "the feat that
Manabozho sought in vain to perform is accomplished by the more flexible
and lithe Hindoo god, Narayana" (440. 367).

In another Micmac legend, given by Leland, Gluskap appears somewhat more
to advantage. Of the Turtle [Mikchich], the "Uncle" of Gluskap, for whom
the latter had obtained a wife, we read (488. 57):--

"And Turtle lived happily with his wife, and she had a babe. Now it
happened in after-days that Glooskap came to see his uncle, and the
child cried. 'Dost thou know what he says?' exclaimed the Master.
'Truly, not I,' answered Mikchich, 'unless it be the language of the
Mu-se-gisk (spirits of the air), which no man knoweth.' 'Wel,' replied
Glooskap, 'he is talking of eggs, for he says, '_Hoowah! hoowah!_'
which, methinks, is much the same as '_waw-wun, waw-wun_.' And this
in Passamaquoddy means 'egg.' 'But where are there any?' asked Mikchich.
Then Glooskap bade him seek in the sand, and he found many, and admired
and marvelled over them greatly; and in memory of this, and to glorify
the jest of Glooskap, the turtle layeth eggs even to this day."

In Mr. Leland's collection, as in the later volume of Dr. Band, there
are many other delicate touches of childhood that show that these
aborigines have a large measure of that love for children which is
present with all races of mankind.

In the legends of the saints and heroes of the Christian Church we meet
with numberless instances of the wisdom and instruction that came to
them from the mouths of little children.

Among the stories in the life of St. Augustine is the following: "While
St. Augustine was composing his book _On the Trinity_, and was at
Cività Vecchia, he saw a little child making a hole in the seashore, and
asked him what he was doing. The child replied: 'I am making a hole to
contain the water of the sea.' The doctor smiled, telling the child it
would not be possible to do so; but the child made answer: 'Not so,
Augustine. It would be far easier to drain off the waters of the great
deep than for the finite to grasp the Infinite'; and so he vanished.
Augustine then knew that the child was an angel of God, sent to warn
him, and he diligently set to work to revise what he had written" (191.

The best of mankind can still sit at the feet of childhood and learn of
its wisdom. But of many a one must it be said:--

  "He hath grown so foolish-wise
  He cannot see with childhood's eyes;
  He hath forgot that purity
  And lowliness which are the key
  Of Nature's mysteries."



  So, Holy Writ in Babes hath judgment shown,
  Where Judges have been babes.--_Shakespeare_.

  O wise young judge I--_Shakespeare_.

_The Child as Judge_

Shakespeare in _All's Well that Ends Well_, makes Helen say to the

  "He that of greatest works is finisher,
  Oft does them by the weakest minister:
  So, Holy Writ in babes hath judgment shown,
  When judges have been babes."

And in the history of the human race, appeal has often been made to the
innocence and imputed discernment of the child.

As one of the glories of God, David sang in Israel of old: "Out of the
mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength, because of
thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger." And
the disciple Matthew reiterates the thought: "Thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes"; and,
again: "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected


The stories told of Solomon--the judgments of the wise Hebrew monarch,
when a child, were as remarkable as those which he made after attaining
man's estate--have their counterparts in other lands. One of the most
celebrated decisions was rendered by Solomon when he was but thirteen
years of age. Well gives the story as follows (547.192):--

"The accuser had sold some property to the other, who, in clearing out a
cellar, had found a treasure. He now demanded that the accused should
give up the treasure, since he had bought the property without it; while
the other maintained that the accuser possessed no right to the
treasure, since he had known nothing of it, and had sold the property
with all that it contained. After long meditation, David adjudged that
the treasure should be divided between them. But Solomon inquired of the
accuser whether he had a son, and, when he replied that he had a son, he
inquired of the other if he had a daughter; and he also answering in the
affirmative, Solomon said: 'If you will adjust your strife so as not to
do injustice one to the other, unite your children in marriage, and give
them this treasure as their dowry.'" In many other difficult cases,
David, after the loss of the tube which, according to legend, the angel
Gabriel brought him, was aided in judgment by the wisdom and
far-sightedness of his young son. A decision similar to that of Solomon
is attributed to Buddha, when a child, and to Christ.


Müllenhoff records two cases of child-judgments in his collection of the
folk-lore of Schleswig-Holstein. The first is as follows: "A branch of
the river Widau, near Tondern, is named Eenzau, from the little village
Eenz in the parish of Burkall. Where the banks are pretty high and
steep, a man fell into the water once upon a time, and would have been
drowned had not a certain person, hearing his cries, hastened to the
river, and, holding out a pole, enabled the drowning man to help himself
out. In doing so, however, he put out an eye. The rescued man appeared
at the next thing (court), entered a complaint against the other, and
demanded compensation for his lost eye. The judges, not knowing what to
make of the case, put it off till the next thing, in order to meditate
upon it in the meantime. But the third thing came, and the
district-judge had not made up his mind about it. Out of humour, he
mounted his horse and rode slowly and thoughtfully in the direction of
Tondern, where the thing was then held. He reached Rohrkarrberg, and,
opposite the house which is still standing there, lay a stone heap, upon
which sat three herd-boys, apparently busy with something of importance.
'What are you doing there, children?' asked the judge. 'We are playing
thing' (court), was the answer. 'What is the matter before the court?'
continued the judge. 'We are trying the case of the man who fell into
the Eenzau,' they answered, and the judge held his horse to await the
verdict. The boys did not know him, for he was well hidden in his cloak,
and his presence did not disturb them. The judgment rendered was, that
the man who had been rescued should be thrown into the stream again at
the same spot; if he was able to save himself, then he should receive
compensation for the eye he had lost; if he could not, the decision was
to be in favour of the other. Before the district-judge went away, he
put his hand into his pocket and gave the boys some money; then, merrily
riding to Tondern, he rendered the same judgment as the boys had given.
The fellow was unable to save himself without assistance, and was like
to have been drowned; consequently, his rescuer won the case" (508. 87,
88). The other case, said to have occurred at Rapstede, was this:--

"A tailor and a peasant, both possessing nothing more than a wretched
hut, made a bargain for so and so many bushels of corn at such and such
a price, although the tailor knew that the peasant had no money, and the
peasant knew that the tailor had a needle, but no corn. Soon the price
of corn rose, and the peasant appeared before the court to demand that
the tailor should fulfil his part of the bargain. The judges were at a
loss to decide such a matter. In this case, also, boys rendered
judgment. The decision was, that the agreement was invalid, for both,
being neighbours, had known each other's circumstances, and yet both
were culpable for having entered into such a deceitful bargain" (508.

These decisions belong to the same category as that rendered by Solomon
in the case of the two women, who both claimed the same child,--a
judgment which has gone upon record in the Bible (1 Kings, iii.
16-28),--and a multitude of similar interpretations of justice found all
over the world (191. 290).

Mr. Newell, speaking of children's games in which judicial procedures
are imitated, but from whose decisions no serious results ever come,
observes (313. 123):--

"In the ancient world, however, where the courts were a place of resort,
and law was not a specialized profession, the case was different.
Maximus of Tyre tells us that the children had their laws and tribunals;
condemnation extended to the forfeiture of toys. Cato the younger,
according to Plutarch, had his detestation of tyranny first awakened by
the punishment inflicted on a playmate by such a tribunal. One of the
younger boys had been sentenced to imprisonment; the doom was duly
carried into effect; but Cato, moved by his cries, rescued him."

_Children's Ideas of Right_.

Mr. Brown, of the formal School at Worcester, Massachusetts, has given
us an excellent collection of _Thoughts and Reasonings of Children_
(194), and Signora Paola Lombroso, in her interesting and valuable
_Essays on Child-Psychology_, has also contributed to the same
subject (301. 45-72). A very recent study is that of _Children's
Rights_, by Margaret E. Schallenberger (341), of Leland Stanford, Jr.
University, California. The last author has charted the opinions of a
large number--some three thousand papers were collected--of boys and
girls from six to sixteen years of age, upon the following case, the
story being employed as specially appealing to children (341. 89):--

"Jennie had a beautiful new box of paints; and, in the afternoon, while
her mother was gone, she painted all the chairs in the parlour, so as to
make them look nice for her mother. When her mother came home, Jennie
ran to meet her, and said, 'Oh mamma! come and see how pretty I have
made the new parlour'; but her mamma took her paints away and sent her
to bed. If you had been her mother, what would you have done or said to

From this extensive and most ingenious investigation, the following
results are thought to have been obtained: "Young children are less
merciful than older ones. When they appear cruel and resentful, we know
that they are exercising what they honestly consider the right of
revenge. Boys are less merciful than girls. Young children judge of
actions by their results, older ones look at the motives which prompt
them. If a young child disobeys a command and no bad result follows, he
doesn't see that he has done wrong. Punishments which, have in them the
idea of restitution are common to all ages. Girls consider the why more
than boys; they explain to Jennie oftener than boys do. Threats and
forced promises do not impress children" (341. 96).

_Jurisprudence of Child's Play_.

Pitré, the great Italian folklorist, has made a special study, though a
very brief one, of the judgments rendered by children in games and
plays,--the jurisprudence of child's play (323). His essay, which is
devoted to the island of Sicily, touches upon a field which is likely to
yield a rich harvest all over the world. The rules of the game; who
shall play and who shall not; what is "out," "taw," "in"; when is one
"it," "caught," "out"; what can one "bar," and what "choose,"--all these
are matters which require the decisions of the youthful judiciary, and
call for the frequent exercise of judgment, and the sense of justice and
equity. Of the "Boy Code of Honour" some notice is taken by Gregor (246.
21-24). Mr. Newell thus describes the game of "Judge and Jury," as
played at Cambridge, Massachusetts (312.123): "A child is chosen to be
judge, two others for jurors (or, to speak with our little informant,
_juries_), who sit at his right and left hand. Each child must ask
the permission of the judge before taking any step. A platter is brought
in, and a child, rising, asks the judge, 'May I go into the middle of
the room?' 'May I turn the platter?' 'On which side shall it fall?' If
the platter falls on the wrong side, forfeit must be paid." In Germany
and Switzerland there is a game of the trial of a thief. In the former
country: "There is a king, a judge, an executioner, an accuser, and a
thief. The parts are assigned by drawing lots, but the accuser does not
know the name of the thief, and, if he makes an error, has to undergo
the penalty in his stead. The judge finally addresses the king,
inquiring if his majesty approves of his decision; and the king replies,
'Yes, your sentence entitles you to my favour'; or, 'No, your sentence
entitles you to so many blows.' Thus we see how modern child's play
respects the dignity of the king as the fountain of law." In the Swiss
version, as Mr. Newell remarks, "the memory of the severity of ancient
criminal law is preserved," for "the thief flies, and is chased over
stock and stone until caught, when he is made to kneel down, his cap
pushed over his brows, and his head immediately struck off with the edge
of a board" (313.124).


The most interesting section, perhaps, of Mr. Johnson's _Rudimentary
Society among Boys_, is that devoted to "Judicial Procedure" (272.
35-48). Fighting, arbitration, the ordeal and the wager have all been in
use as modes of settling quarrels at the McDonogh School--such matters
of dispute as arose having been left for the boys to settle among
themselves without the control of the faculty. Indeed, the advice which
Polonius gives to Laertes seems to have been ever present in the earlier

  Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
  Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee."

Following the appeal to fists came the appeal to chance and luck--the
"odd or even" marbles, the "longest straw," and like devices came into
vogue. The arbitration of a bystander, particularly of "a big boy who
could whip the others," and the "expedient of laying a wager to secure
the postponement of a quarrel," are very common. But the most remarkable
institution at McDonogh is undoubtedly the boy-moot, one of whose
decisions is reported in detail by Mr. Johnson,--an institution in
action "almost daily," and part and parcel of the life of the school.
None but the author's own words can justly portray it (272. 47, 48):--

"The crowd of boys assembled about the contestants, whose verdict
decides the controversy, is, in many respects, the counterpart of a
primitive assembly of the people in the folk-moot. Every boy has the
right to express an opinion, and every boy present exercises his
privilege, though personal prowess and great experience in matters of
law have their full influence on the minds of the judges. The primitive
idea that dispensing justice is a public trust, which the community
itself must fulfil towards its members, is embodied in this usage of the
'McDonogh boys.' The judges are not arbitrators chosen by the
disputants, nor are they public functionaries whose sole business is to
preside over the courts; but the whole body of the population declares
by word of mouth the right and wrong of the matter. This tumultuous body
of school-fellows, giving decisions in quarrels, and determining
questions of custom, reproduces with remarkable fidelity the essential
character of the primitive assembly."

Mr. Johnson was struck with "the peace and good order generally
prevalent in the community," which speaks well for the judicial system
there in vogue.

The editor, in his introductory remarks, observes:--

"Every schoolboy and every college student in his upward way to real
manhood represents the evolution of a primitive savage into a civilized
being. Every school and college reproduces the developmental process of
a human society in some of its most interesting aspects, such as
government and law. There are all stages of social development in the
student class, from actual savagery, which frequently crops out in the
very best schools and colleges, to effeminate forms of modern
civilization. There are all degrees of institutional government, from
total anarchy and patriarchal despotism to Roman imperialism and
constitutional government; although it must be admitted that
self-government among the student class--said to obtain in some American
schools and colleges--is not yet a chartered right. The regulation of
student society by itself, or by all the powers that be, presents all
phases of judicature, from the most savage ordeals to the most humane.
Student customs are full of ancient survivals, and some editions of
'College Laws' are almost as archaic as the Code of Manu. One of these
days we shall perhaps find men investigating college jurisprudence,
college government, and college politics from the comparative point of
view, and writing the natural history of the student class" (272. 3).

In the community of the sand-pile studied by Dr. Hall, "a general habit
of settling disputes, often brought to issue with fists, by means of
meetings and specifications, arose." There is room for a volume on the
jurisprudence of childhood and youth, and every page would be of
intensest interest and of value in the history of the evolution of the
ideas of justice in the human race.



  Enfants et fous sont devins [Children and fools are soothsayers].
  --_French Proverb._

  Children pick up words as chickens peas,
  And utter them again as God shall please.--_English Proverb_.

  The fresh face of a child is richer in significance than the
  forecasting of the most indubitable seer.--_Novalis_.


"Children and fools speak the truth," says an old and wide-spread
proverb, and another version includes him who is drunken, making a
trinity of truth-tellers. In like manner have the frenzy of wine and the
madness of the gods been associated in every age with oracle and sign,
and into this oracular trinity enters also the child. Said De Quincey:
"God speaks to children also, in dreams and by the oracles that lurk in
darkness," and the poet Stoddard has clothed in exquisite language a
similar thought:--

  "Nearer the gate of Paradise than we,
  Our children breathe its air, its angels see;
  And when they pray, God hears their simple prayer,
  Yea, even sheathes his sword in judgment bare."

The passage in Joel ii. 28, "Your old men shall dream dreams, your young
men shall see visions," might stand for not a few primitive peoples,
with whom, once in childhood (or youth) and once again in old age, man
communes with the spirits and the gods, and interprets the events of
life to his fellows. The Darien Indians, we are told, "used the seeds of
the _Datura sanguinea_ to bring on in children prophetic delirium
in which they revealed hidden treasures" (545. II. 417).

One of the most curious of the many strange practices which the
conservatism of the Established Church of England has continued down to
the present is one in vogue at the parish church of St. Ives, in
Huntingdonshire. A certain Dr. Eobert Wilde, who died in 1678,
"bequeathed £50, the yearly interest of which was to be expended in the
purchase of six Bibles, not exceeding the price of 7_s_. 6_d_
each, which should be 'cast for by dice' on the communion table every
year by six boys and six girls of the town." The vicar was also to be
paid 10_s_. a year for preaching an appropriate sermon on the Holy
Scriptures. Public opinion has within recent years caused the erection
of a table on the chancel steps, where the dice-throwing now takes
place, instead of on the communion table as of old. Every May 26th the
ceremony is performed, and in 1888 we are told: "The highest throw this
year (three times with three dice) was 37, by a little girl. The vicar
(the Rev. E. Tottenham) preached a sermon from the words, 'From a child
thou hast known the Holy Scriptures'" (390 (1888). 113).

_The Child as Vision-Seer_.

In the history of the Catholic Church one cannot fail to be struck by
the part played by children in the seeing of visions, especially of the
Virgin. To St. Agnes of Monte Pulciano (A.D. 1274-1317), when fourteen
years of age, the Virgin appeared and told her she should build a
monastery before she died (191. 24); Jeanne de Maille (1332-1414) was
but eleven when the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus came before her in
a vision; Catherine of Racconigi (1486-1547) was visited by the Virgin
when only five years of age (191. 108); in 1075, Hermann of Cologne,
while still a boy, saw in a vision the Virgin, who kissed him, and made
a secret deposit of food on a certain stone for his benefit. In 1858 a
vision of the Immaculate Conception appeared to Bernadetta Soubirous, a
sickly child of fourteen, at Lourdes, in the Hautes Pyrenees. No one
else saw this vision, said to have occurred on Shrove Tuesday (Feb. 11),
four years after Pius IX. had proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate
Conception. The vision lasted for fourteen successive days (191. 484).
On Jan. 17, 1871, the Virgin is alleged to have appeared at Pontmain to
several children, and a detailed account of the vision has been given by
Mgr. Guérin, chamberlain of Pius IX., in his _Vie des Saints_, and
this is digested in Brewer. The children who saw the apparition are
described as follows: "Eugène Barbedette was the second son of a small
farmer living in the village of Pontmain, in the diocese of Laval. He
was twelve years old, and his brother Joseph was ten. The other two
[Françoise Richer, Jeanne Marie Lebossé] were children from neighbouring
cottages, called in to witness the sight. The parents of the children,
the pastor of the village, Sister Vitaline, the abbot Guérin, all
present, could see nothing, nor could any of the neighbours of outlying
villages, who flocked to the place. Only the children mentioned, a sick
child, and a babe in the arms of its grandmother, saw the apparition."
The description of the Virgin, as seen by Eugène Barbedette that
starlight winter night, is quaint and naïve in the extreme: "She was
very tall, robed in blue, and her robe studded with stars. Her shoes
were also blue, but had red rosettes. Her face was covered with a black
veil, which floated to her shoulders. A crown of gold was on her head,
but a red line was observed to run round the crown, symbolic of the
blood shed by Christ for the sins of the world. Beneath her feet was a
scroll, on which were written these words: 'Mais priez, mes enfants,
Dieu vous exaucera, en peu de temps mon fils se laisse toucher' (Pray,
my children, God will hear you, before long my son will be moved)." Mgr.
Guérin thus comments upon the miracle: "In order to make herself
manifest to men, the Holy Virgin has chosen rather the simple eyes of
childhood; for, like troubled waters, sinful souls would have but ill
reflected her celestial image" (191. 26).

_Flower- and Animal-Oracles_.

Mr. Newell has a chapter on "Flower-Oracles" (313. 105-114), in which he
gives many illustrations of the practice noted in the lines of that
nature-loving mediaeval German singer, with which he prefaces his

 "A spire of grass hath made me gay;
  It saith I shall find mercy mild.
  I measured in the self-same way
  I have seen practised by a child."
  "Come look and listen if she really does:
   She does, does not, she does, does not, she does.
   Each time I try, the end so augureth.
   That comforts me,--'tis right that we have faith."

The ox-eye daisy, the common daisy, the marguerite, the corn-flower,
the dandelion, the rose, the pansy, the clover, and a score of other
flowers and plants (to say nothing of bushes and trees) have their
leaves and petals pulled off, their seeds counted, their fruit examined,
their seed-tufts blown away, their markings and other peculiarities
deciphered and interpreted to determine the fortune of little
questioners, the character of the home they are to live in, the clothes
they are to be married in, what they are to ride in, the profession they
are to adopt, whether they are to marry, remain single, become monk or
nun, whether they are to be drowned or hanged, rich or poor, honest or
criminal, whether they are to go to hell, purgatory, or paradise.

The use of drawing straws or blades of grass from the hand to determine
who is "it," or who shall begin the game, the blowing of the dandelion
in seed, the counting of apple-pips, or the leaves on a twig, and a
hundred other expedients belong to the same category. All these are
oracles, whose priest and interpreter is the child; first, in "those
sweet, childish days that were as long as twenty days are now," and then
again when love rules the heart and the appeal to the arbitrament of
nature--for not alone all mankind but all nature loves a lover--is made
in deepest faith and confidence. In the golden age of childhood and in
the springtime of love all nature is akin to man. The dandelion is
especially favoured as an oracle of children, and of those who are but
"children of a larger growth." To quote from Folkard (448. 309):--

"The dandelion is called the rustic oracle; its flowers always open
about 5 A.M. and shut at 8 P.M., serving the shepherd for a clock.

  'Leontodons unfold
  On the swart turf their ray-encircled gold,
  With Sol's expanding beam the flowers unclose,
  And rising Hesper lights them to repose.'--_Darwin_.

As the flower is the shepherd's clock, so are the feathery seedtufts his
barometer, predicting calm or storm. These downy seedballs, which
children blow off to find out the hour of day, serve for other oracular
purposes. Are you separated from the object of your love? Carefully
pluck one of the feathery heads; charge each of the little feathers
composing it with a tender thought; turn towards the spot where the
loved one dwells; blow, and the seed-ball will convey your message
faithfully. Do you wish to know if that dear one is thinking of you?
blow again; and if there be left upon the stalk a single aigrette, it is
a proof you are not forgotten. Similarly, the dandelion is consulted as
to whether the lover lives east, west, north, or south, and whether he
is coming or not.

  'Will he come? I pluck the flower leaves off,
  And, at each, cry yes, no, yes;
  I blow the down from the dry hawkweed,
  Once, twice--hah! I it flies amiss!'--Scott."

Many interesting details about flower-oracles may be read in the pages
of Friend (453) and Folkard (448) and in Mr. Dyer's chapters on
_Plants and the Ceremonial Use_ (435. 145-162), _Children's
Rhymes and Games_ (435. 232-242), etc.

Beasts, birds, and insects are also the child's oracles. Mr. Callaway
tells us that among the Amazulu, when cattle are lost, and the boys see
the bird called _Isi pungumangati_ sitting on a tree, "they ask it
where the cattle are, and go in the direction in which it points with
its head." The insect known as the _mantis_, or "praying insect,"
is used for a similar purpose (417. 339). In the Sollinger forest
(Germany), on St. Matthew's day, February 24, the following practice is
in vogue: A girl takes a girl friend upon her back and carries her to
the nearest sheep-pen, at the door of which both knock. If a lamb is the
first to bleat, the future husbands of both girls will be young; if an
old sheep bleats first, they will both marry old men (391. II. 10).

_The Child as Oracle in the Primitive Community._

In primitive social economy the services of the child, as an
unprejudiced or oracular decider of fates and fortunes, were often in
demand. In the community of Pudu-vayal, in the Carnatic (southeastern
India), "when the season for cultivation arrives, the arable land in the
village is allotted to the several shareholders in the following manner:
The names of each lot and each share-holder are written on pieces of
the leaf of the palm-tree, such as is used for village records, and the
names of each division of land to be allotted are placed in a row. A
child, selected for the purpose, draws by lot a leaf with the name of
the principal share-holder, and places under it a number, thus,--

  1--Tannappa.  2--Nina.  3--Narrappa.  4--Malliyan.

It is thus settled by lottery that Tannappa and his under-share-holders
are to cultivate the land of the principal share lotted under No. 1.
Tannappa next proceeds to settle in the same way each
under-shareholder's portion included in his principal share, and so on,
until the sixty-four shareholders receive each his allotment (461. 32)."

At Haddenham, in the county of Buckingham, England, a somewhat similar
practice survived: "The method of deciding the ownership, after the
meadow was plotted out, was by drawing lots. This was done by cutting up
a common dock-weed into the required number of pieces to represent the
lots, a well understood sign being carved on each piece, representing
crows' feet, hog-troughs, and so on. These were placed in a hat and
shaken up. Before this could be done, however, notice must be given by
one of the men, calling out, at the top of his voice, 'Harko,' and using
some sort of rigmarole, calling people to witness that the lots were
drawn fairly and without favour.... The hat being shaken up, and one of
the boys standing by, looking on with the greatest interest, is pitched
upon as a disinterested person to draw the lots, and each owner had to
'sup up' with the lot that fell to him" (461.270).

In the manor of Aston, in the parish of Bampton, Oxfordshire, a like
custom prevailed: "When the grass was fit to cut, the grass stewards and
Sixteens [stewards] summoned the freeholders and tenants to a general
meeting, and the following ceremony took place: Four of the tenants came
forward, each bearing his mark cut on a piece of wood, which, being
thrown into a hat, were shaken up and drawn by a boy. The first drawing
entitled its owner to have his portion of the common meadow in set one,
the second drawn in set two, etc., and thus four of the tenants have
obtained their allotments. Four others then came forward, and the same
process is repeated until all the tenants have received their
allotments" (461. 166).

In Kilkenny, "when the division is made out, lots are prepared. Each man
takes a bit of stick or particular stone, well marked; these are
enveloped in a ball of clay, and a child or stranger is called to place
each ball upon some one of the lots, by which each man's share is
determined" (461. 141).

The Kaffir boy who is to tend the calves in the kraal, while his fellows
sport and romp about, is selected by lot: "As many blades of grass as
there are boys are taken, and a knot is made on the end of one of them.
The biggest boy holds the blades between the fingers and thumb of his
closed hand, and whoever draws the blade with the knot has to act as
herdsman" (543. 221). Nowadays, children are employed to turn
roulette-wheels, sort cards, pick out lottery-tickets, select lucky
numbers, set machinery going for the first time, and perform other like
actions; for, though men are all "children of fortune," there is
something about real children that brings luck and prospers all
enterprises of chance and hazard.

Unconscious action and selection by children have no doubt profoundly
influenced individual men and society at times. De Quincey tells us that
"the celebrated Dr. Doddridge is said to have been guided in a primary
act of choice, influencing his whole after life, by a few chance words
from a child reading aloud to his mother." The story of the conversion
of drunken John Stirling by the naïve remark of his four-year-old boy,
as the mother was reading Matthew xxv. 31-33, "Will father be a goat,
then, mother?" finds parallels in other lives and other lands (191.356).
Here may be considered as belonging some of the "guessing-games,"
certain of which, in forms remarkably like those in use to-day, were
known to the ancients, as Mr. Newell has pointed out, from references in
Xenophon and Petronius Arbiter (313. 147-152).

_Oracular Games_.

As we of to-day see in the sports and games of children some resemblance
to the realities of life of our ancestors of long ago, and of those
primitive peoples who have lingered behind in the march, of culture, so
have the folk seen in them some echo, some oracular reverberation, of
the deeds of absent elders, some forecast of the things to come.

Among the Shushwap Indians of British Columbia, the following belief is
current regarding twins: "While they are children their mother can see
by their plays whether her husband, when he is out hunting, will be
successful or not. When the twins play about and feign to bite each
other, he will be successful; if they keep quiet, he will return
empty-handed" (404. 92).

In Saxon Transylvania, "when children play games in which dolls and the
like are buried, play church, or sing hymns in the street, it is thought
to foretell the approaching death of some one in the place" (392

Similar superstitions attach to others of the games and sports of
childhood, in which is reproduced the solemn earnest of an earlier
manhood; for, with some peoples, the conviction that what is acted in
pantomime must occur at a later date in all its reality, finds ready
acceptance, and hence children are sometimes even now debarred from
carrying out some of their games, from a vague fear that ill will come
of them in the manner indicated.



  Rain, rain, go away,
  Come again, another day.--_Children's Rhyme._

Perhaps the most naive tale in which, the child figures as a
weather-maker occurs in the life-story of St. Vincent Ferrier (1357-1419
A.D.), who is credited with performing, in twenty years, no fewer than
58,400 miracles. While the saint was not yet a year old, a great dearth
prevailed in Valencia, and one day, while his mother was lamenting over
it, "the infant in swaddling-clothes said to her distinctly, 'Mother,
if you wish for rain, carry me in procession.' The babe was carried in
procession, and the rain fell abundantly" (191.356). Brewer informs us
that in 1716 "Mrs. Hicks and her daughter (a child nine years of age)
were hung at Huntingdon [England], for 'selling their souls to the
devil; and raising a storm by pulling off their stockings and making a
lather of soap'" (191. 344). Saints and witches had power to stop rains
and lay storms as well as to bring them on.

H. F. Feilberg has given us an interesting account of "weather-making,"
a folk-custom still in vogue in several parts of Denmark. It would
appear that this strange custom exists in Djursland, Samse, Sejere,
Nexele, in the region of Kallundborg. Here "the women 'make weather' in
February, the men in March, all in a fixed order, usually according to
the numbers of the tax-register. The pastor and his wife, each in his
and her month, 'make weather' on the first of the month, after them the
other inhabitants of the village. If the married men are not sufficient
to fill out the days of the months, the unmarried ones and the servants
are called upon,--the house-servant perhaps 'making weather' in the
morning, the hired boy in the afternoon, and in like manner the
kitchen-maid and the girl-servant" (392 (1891). 56, 58). In this case we
have a whole family, household, community of "weather-makers," old and
young, and are really taken back to a culture-stage similar to that of
the Caribs and Chibchas of America, with whom the chief was
weather-maker as well as ruler of his people (101. 57).

_The "Bull-Roarer."_

In Mr. Andrew Lang's _Custom and Myth_ there is an entertaining
chapter on "The Bull Roarer," which the author identifies with the
[Greek: rombos] mentioned by Clemens of Alexandria as one of the toys of
the infant Dionysus. The "bull-roarer," known to the modern English boy,
the ancient Greek, the South African, the American Indian, etc., is in
actual use to-day by children,--Mr. Lang does not seem to be aware of
the fact,--as a "wind-raiser," or "weather-maker." Mr. Gregor, speaking
of northeastern Scotland, says: "During thunder it was not unusual for
boys to take a piece of thin wood a few inches wide and about half a
foot long, bore a hole in one end of it, and tie a few yards of twine
into the hole. The piece of wood was rapidly whirled around the head
under the belief that the thunder would cease, or that the thunder-bolt
would not strike. It went by the name of the 'thunner-spell'" (246. 153).

Among the Kaffirs, according to Mr. Theal:--

"There is a kind of superstition connected with the _nowidu_ [the
South African 'bull-roarer'], that playing with it invites a gale of
wind. Men will, on this account, often prevent boys from using it when
they desire calm weather for any purpose" (543. 223).

Dr. Boas tells us that the Shushwap Indians of British Columbia
attribute supernatural powers to twins, and believe: "They can make good
and bad weather. In order to produce rain they take a small basket
filled with water, which they spill into the air. For making clear
weather, they use a small stick to the end of which a string is tied. A
small flat piece of wood is attached to the end of the string, and this
implement is shaken. Storm is produced by strewing down on the ends of
spruce branches" (404. 92).

The Nootka Indians have a like belief regarding twins: "They have the
power to make good and bad weather. They produce rain by painting their
faces with black colour and then washing them, or by merely shaking
their heads" (404. 40).

Among some of the Kwakiutl Indians, upon the birth of twins "the father
dances for four days after the children have been born, with a large
square rattle. The children, by swinging this rattle, can cure disease
and procure favourable winds and weather" (404. 62).

In Prussia, when it snows, the folk-belief is "the angels are shaking
their little beds," and Grimm's story of "Old Mother Frost" has another
rendering of the same myth: "What are you afraid of, my child! Stop with
me: if you will put all things in order in my house, then all shall go
well with you; only you must take care that you make my bed well, and
shake tremendously, so that the feathers fly; then it snows upon earth.
I am Old Mother Frost."

An Eskimo legend states that thunder and lightning are caused by an
adult person and a child, who went up in the sky long, long ago; they
carry a dried seal-skin, which, when rattled, makes the thunder, and
torches of tar, which, when waved, cause the lightning.

The Mississaga Indians explain a fierce storm of thunder and lightning
by saying that "the young thunder-birds up in the sky are making merry
and having a good time." In like manner, the Dakotas account for the
rumbling of thunder, "because the old thunder-bird begins the peal and
the young ones take it up and continue."

In the poetry of the ancient Aryans of Asia the wind is called "the
heavenly child," some idea of which survives in the old pictures in
books representing the seasons, and in maps, where infants or cherubs
are figured as blowing at the various points of the compass. But to
return to rain-making. Grimm has called attention to several instances
in Modern Europe where the child figures as "rain-maker."

_Girl Rain-Makers_.

One of the charms in use in the Rhine country of Germany in the eleventh
century, as recorded by Burchard of Worms, was this: "A little girl,
completely undressed and led outside the town, had to dig up henbane
with the little finger of her right hand, and tie it to the little toe
of her right foot; she was then solemnly conducted by the other maidens
to the nearest river, and splashed with water" (462. II. 593).

In Servia the rain-maker is well known, and the procedure is as follows:
"A girl, called the _dodola_, is stript naked, but so wrapt up in
grass, herbs, and flowers, that nothing of her person is to be seen, not
even the face. Escorted by other maidens, _dodola_ passes from
house to house; before each house they form a ring, she standing in the
middle and dancing alone. The goodwife comes out and empties a bucket of
water over the girl, who keeps dancing and whirling all the while; her
companions sing songs, repeating after every line the burden _oy dodo,
oy dodo le_." Following is one of the rain-songs:--

  "To God doth our doda call, oy dodo oy dodo le!
  That dewy rain may fall, oy dodo oy dodo le!
  And drench the diggers all, oy dodo oy dodo le!
  The workers great and small, oy dodo oy dodo le!
  Even those in house and stall, oy dodo oy dodo le!"

Corresponding to the Servian _dodola_, and thought to be equally
efficacious, is the [Greek: _pyrperuna_] of the Modern Greeks. With
them the custom is: "When it has not rained for a fortnight or three
weeks, the inhabitants of villages and small towns do as follows. The
children choose one of themselves, who is from eight to ten years old,
usually a poor orphan, whom they strip naked and deck from head to foot
with field herbs and flowers: this child is called pyrperuna. The others
lead her round the village, singing a hymn, and every housewife has to
throw a pailful of water over the pyrperuna's head and hand the children
a para (1/4 of a farthing)" (462. I. 594).

In a Wallachian song, sung by children when the grain is troubled by
drought, occurs the following appeal: "Papaluga (Father Luga), climb
into heaven, open its doors, and send down rain from above, that well
the rye may grow!" (462. II. 593). This brings us naturally to the
consideration of the rain-rhymes in English and cognate tongues.


Mr. Henderson, treating of the northern counties of England, tells us
that when the rain threatens to spoil a boy's holiday, he will sing

  "'Rain, rain, go away,
  Come again another summer's day;
  Rain, rain, pour down,
  And come no more to our town.'


  'Rain, rain, go away,
  And come again on washing day,'

or, more quaintly, yet:--

  'Rain, rain, go to Spain;
  Fair weather, come again,'

and, _sooner_ or _later_, the rain will depart. If there be a
rainbow, the juvenile devotee must look at it all the time. The
Sunderland version runs thus:--

  'Rain, rain, pour down
  Not a drop in our town,
  But a pint and a gill
  All a-back of Building Hill.'"

Mr. Henderson remarks that "such rhymes are in use, I believe, in every
nursery in England," and they are certainly well known, in varying forms
in America. A common English charm for driving away the rainbow brings
the child at once into the domain of the primitive medicine-man.
Schoolboys were wont, "on the appearance of a rainbow, to place a couple
of straws or twigs across on the ground, and, as they said, 'cross out
the rainbow.' The West Riding [Yorkshire] receipt for driving away a
rainbow is: 'Make a cross of two sticks and lay four pebbles on it, one
at each end'" (469. 24, 25).

Mr. Gregor, for northeastern Scotland, reports the following as being
sung or shouted at the top of the voice by children, when a rainbow
appears (246. 153, 154):--

 "Rainbow, rainbow,
  Brack an gang hame,
  The coo's wi' a calf,
  The yow's wi' a lam,
  An' the coo 'ill be calvt,
  Or ye win hame."

 "Rainbow, rainbow,
  Brack an gang hame;
  Yir father an yir mither's aneth the layer-stehm;
  Yir coo's calvt, yir mare's foalt,
  Yir wife'll be dead
  Or ye win hame."

 "Rainbow, rainbow,
  Brack an gang hame,
  Yir father and mither's aneth the grave stehn."

Even more touching is the appeal made by the children in Berwickshire,
according to Mr. Henderson (469. 24, 25):--

  "Rainbow, rainbow, hand awa' hame,
  A' yer bairns are dead but ane,
  And it lies sick at yon gray stane,
  And will be dead ere you win hame.
  Gang owre the Drumaw [a hill] and yont the lea
  And down by the side o' yonder sea;
  Your bairn lies greeting [crying] like to dee,
  And the big tear-drop is in his e'e."

Sometimes the child-priest or weather-maker has to employ an
intermediary. On the island of Rugen and in some other parts of Germany
the formula is (466 a. 132):--

 "Leeve Katriene
  Lat de stinnen schienen,
  Lat'n ragen overgahn,
  Lat de stunnen wedder kam'n."
  ["Dear (St.) Catharine,
  Let the sun shine,
  Let the rain pass off,
  Let the sun come again."]

In Eugen the glow-worm is associated with "weather-making." The children
take the little creature up, put it on their hand and thus address it
(466 a. 133):--

 "Sunnskurnken fleeg weech,
  Bring mi morgen good wader,
  Lat 'en ragen overgahn,
  Lat de sunnen wedder kam'n,
  Bring mi morgen good wader."

If the insect flies away, the good weather will come; if not, there will
be rain.

The Altmark formula, as given by Danneil (_Worterb_., p. 81) is:--

"Herrgottswörmk'n, flêg nao'n Himmel, segg dîn Vaoder un Mutter, dat't
morgen un äöwermorg'n gôd Wäd'r wart." ["Little God's-worm, fly to
heaven, tell your father and mother to make it fine weather to-morrow
and the day after to-morrow."]

Another rain-rhyme from Altmark, sung by children in the streets when it
rains, is harsh in tone, and somewhat derisive as well (p. 153):--

  "Räg'n blatt, maok mi nich natt,
  Maok den olln Paop'n natt
  De'n Büd'l vull Geld hat."
  ["Rain, don't make me wet,
  Make the old priest wet,
  Who has a purse full of money."]

Concerning the Kansa Indians, Rev. J. Owen Dorsey informs us that the
members of the Tcihacin or Kanze gens are looked upon as "wind people,"
and when there is a blizzard the other Kansa appeal to them: "O,
Grandfather, I wish good weather! Please cause one of your children to
be decorated!" The method of stopping the blizzard is as follows: "Then
the youngest son of one of the Kanze men, say one over four feet high,
is chosen for the purpose, and painted with red paint. The youth rolls
over and over in the snow and reddens it for some distances all around
him. This is supposed to stop the storm" (433. 410).

With the Kwakiutl Indians of Vancouver Island, as with the Shushwaps and
Nootka, twins are looked upon in the light of wonderful beings, having
power over the weather. Of them it is said "while children they are able
to summon any wind by motions of their hands, and can make fair or bad
weather. They have the power of curing diseases, and use for this
purpose a rattle called K.'oã'qaten, which has the shape of a flat box
about three feet long by two feet wide." Here the "weather-maker" and
the "doctor" are combined in the same person. Among the Tsimshian
Indians, of British Columbia, twins are believed to control the weather,
and these aborigines "pray to wind and rain: 'Calm down, breath of the
twins'" (403. 51).

In the creation-legend of the Indians of Mt. Shasta (California), we are
told that once a terrific storm came up from the sea and shook to its
base the wigwam,--Mt. Shasta itself,--in which lived the "Great Spirit"
and his family. Then "The 'Great Spirit' commanded his daughter, little
more than an infant, to go up and bid the wind be still, cautioning her
at the same time, in his fatherly way, not to put her head out into the
blast, but only to thrust out her little red arm and make a sign before
she delivered her message." But the temptation to look out on the world
was too strong for her, and, as a result, she was caught up by the storm
and blown down the mountain-side into the land of the grizzly-bear
people. From the union of the daughter and the grizzly-bear people
sprang a new race of men. When the "Great Spirit" was told his daughter
still lived, he ran down the mountain for joy, but finding that his
daughter had become a mother, he was so angry that he cursed the
grizzly-people and turned them into the present race of bears of that
species; them and the new race of men he drove out of their
wigwam,--Little Mt. Shasta,--then "shut to the door, and passed away to
his mountains, carrying his daughter; and her or him no eye has since
seen." Hence it is that "no Indian tracing his descent from the spirit
mother and the grizzly, will kill a grizzly-bear; and if by an evil
chance a grizzly kill a man in any place, that spot becomes memorable,
and every one that passes casts a stone there till a great pile is
thrown up" (396. III. 91).

Here the weather-maker touches upon deity and humanity at once.



Fingunt se medicos quivis idiota, sacerdos, Iudæus, monachus, histrio,
rasor, anus. [Any unskilled person, priest, Jew, monk, actor, barber,
old woman, turns himself into a physician.]--_Medical Proverb_.

_The Child as Healer and Physician_.

Though Dr. Max Bartels' (397) recent treatise--the best book that has
yet appeared on the subject of primitive medicine--has no chapter
consecrated to the child as healer and physician, and Mr. Black's
_Folk-Medicine_ (401) contains but a few items under the rubric of
personal cures, it is evident from data in these two works, and in many
other scattered sources, that the child has played a not unimportant
rôle in the history of folk-medicine. Among certain primitive peoples
the healing art descends by inheritance, and in various parts of the
world unbaptized children, illegitimate children, and children born out
of due time and season, or deformed in some way, have been credited with
special curative powers, or looked upon as "doctors born."

In Spain, to kiss an unbaptized child before any one else has done so,
is a panacea against toothache (258. 100). In north-eastern Scotland, "a
seventh son, without a daughter, if worms were put into his hand before
baptism, had the power of healing the disease (ring-worm) simply by
rubbing the affected part with his hand. The common belief about such a
son was that he was a doctor by nature" (246. 47). In Ireland, the
healing powers are acquired "if his hand has, before it has touched
anything for himself, been touched with his future medium of cure. Thus,
if silver is to be the charm, a sixpence, or a three-penny piece, is put
into his hand, or meal, salt, or his father's hair, 'whatever substance
a seventh son rubs with must be worn by his parents as long as he
lives.'" In some portions of Europe, the seventh son, if born on Easter
Eve, was able to cure tertian or quartan fevers. In Germany, "if a woman
has had seven sons in succession, the seventh can heal all manner of
hurt,"--his touch is also said to cure wens at the throat (462. III.
1152). In France, the _marcou_, or seventh son, has had a great
reputation; his body is said to be marked with a _fleur-de-lis_,
and the cure is effected by his simply breathing upon the diseased part,
or by allowing the patient to touch a mark on his body. Bourke calls
attention to the fact that among the Cherokee Indians of the
southeastern United States is this same belief that the seventh son is
"a natural-born prophet with the gift of healing by touch" (406. 457).
In France similar powers have also been attributed to the fifth son. The
seventh son of a seventh son is still more famous, while to the
twenty-first son, born without the intervention of a daughter,
prodigious cures are ascribed.

Nor is the other sex entirely neglected. In France a "seventh daughter"
was believed to be able to cure chilblains on the heels (462. III.
1152), and in England, as recently as 1876, the seventh daughter of a
seventh daughter claimed great skill as an herb-doctor.

In northeastern Scotland, "a posthumous child was believed to possess
the gift of curing almost any disease by looking on the patient" (246.
37), and in Donegal, Ireland, the peasants "wear a lock of hair from a
posthumous child, to guard against whooping-cough," while in France,
such a child was believed to possess the power of curing wens, and a
child that has never known its father was credited with ability to cure
swellings and to drive away tumours (462. III. 1152).

Twins, in many countries, have been regarded as prodigies, or as endowed
with unusual powers. In Essex, England, "a 'left twin' (_i.e._ a
child who has survived its fellow-twin) is thought to have the power of
curing the thrush by blowing three times into the patient's mouth, if
the patient is of the opposite sex" (469. 307). Among the Kwakiutl
Indians of British Columbia, twins are said to be able to cure disease
by swinging a rattle, and in Liberia (Africa) they are thought to
possess great healing powers, for which reason most of them become
doctors (397. 75).

In Sweden, "a first-born child that has come into the world with teeth
can cure a bad bite." In Scotland, "those who were born with their feet
first possessed great power to heal all kinds of sprains, lumbago, and
rheumatism, either by rubbing the afflicted part, or by trampling on it.
The chief virtue lay in the feet" (246. 45). In Cornwall, England, the
mother of such a child also possessed the power to cure rheumatism by
trampling on the patients. The natives of the island of Mas, off the
western coast of Sumatra, consider children born with their feet first
specially gifted for the treatment of dislocations (397. 75). Among the
superstitions prevalent among the Mexicans of the Rio Grande region in
Texas, Captain Bourke mentions the belief: "To cure rheumatism, stroke
the head of a little girl three times--a golden-haired child preferred"
(407. 139). The Jews of Galicia seek to cure small-pox by rubbing the
pustules with the tresses of a girl, and think that the scrofula will
disappear "if a _Bechôr_, or first-born son, touches it with his
thumb and little finger" (392 (1893). 142).

The power of curing scrofula--touching for the "King's Evil"--possessed
by monarchs of other days, was thought to be hereditary, and seems to
have been practised by them at a tender age. In England this "cure" was
in vogue from the time of Edward the Confessor until 1719, when,
according to Brewer, the "office" disappeared from the Prayer-book. The
French custom dated back to Anne of Clovis (A.D. 481). In the year of
his coronation (1654 A.D.), when Louis XV. was but eleven years old, he
is said to have touched over two thousand sufferers (191. 308).

_Blood of Children_.

In the dark ages the blood of little children had a wide-spread
reputation for its medicinal virtue. The idea that diseased and withered
humanity, having failed to discover the fountain of eternal youth, might
find a new well-spring of life in bathing in, or being sprinkled with,
the pure blood of a child or a virgin, had long a firm hold upon the
minds of the people. Hartmann von Aue's story, _Der arme Heinrich_,
and a score of similar tales testify of the folk-faith in the
regeneration born of this horrible baptism--a survival or recrudescence
of the crassest form of the doctrine that the life dwells in the blood.
Strack, in his valuable treatise on "Human Blood, in Superstition and
Ceremonial," devotes a brief section to the belief in the cure of
leprosy by means of human blood (361. 20-24). The Targumic gloss on
Exodus ii. 23--the paraphrase known as the Pseudo-Jonathan--explains
"that the king of Egypt, suffering from leprosy, ordered the first-born
of the children of Israel to be slain that he might bathe in their
blood," and the Midrasch Schemoth Rabba accounts for the lamentation of
the people of Israel at this time, from the fact that the Egyptian
magicians had told the king that there was no cure for this loathsome
disease, unless every evening and every morning one hundred and fifty
Jewish children were slain and the monarch bathed twice daily in their
blood. Pliny tells us that the Egyptians warmed with human blood the
seats in their baths as a remedy against the dreaded leprosy.

According to the early chroniclers, Constantine the Great, on account of
his persecution of the Christians, was afflicted with leprosy, which
would yield neither to the skill of native nor to that of foreign
physicians. Finally, the priests of Jupiter Capitolinus recommended a
bath in the blood of children. The children were gathered together, but
"the lamentations of their mothers so affected the Emperor, that he
declared his intention of suffering the foul disease, rather than be the
cause of so much woe and misery." Afterwards he was directed in a dream
to Pope Sylvester, was converted, baptized into the Church, and restored
to health (361. 22).

Other instances of this fearful custom are mentioned in the stories of
Percival (in the history of the Holy Grail), of Giglan de Galles et
Geoffrey de Mayence, and the wide-spread tale of Amicus and Amelius and
its variants, Louis and Alexander, Engelhard and Engeltrut, Oliver and
Arthur, etc., in all of which one of the friends is afflicted with
leprosy, but is cured through the devotion of the other, who sacrifices
his own children in order to obtain the blood by which alone his friend
can be restored to health. Usually, we are told, God rewards his
fidelity and the children are restored to life.

The physicians of King Richard I. of England are said, in one of the
fictions which grew up about his distinguished personality, to have
utterly failed to give relief to the monarch, who was suffering from,
leprosy. At last a celebrated Jew, after exhausting his skill without
curing the monarch, told him that his one chance of recovery lay in
bathing in the fresh blood of a newborn child, and eating its heart just
as it was taken out of the body. That the king adopted this horrible
remedy we are left to doubt, but of Louis XI of France, several
chroniclers affirm that he went even farther than the others, and, in
order to become rejuvenated, drank large quantities of the blood of
young children. In all these cases the character of the child as fetich
seems to be present, and the virtues ascribed to the blood drawn from
children (not always killed) belong not alone to medicine, but also to
primitive religion (361. 23).

Even the dead body of a child or some one of its members plays a
_role_ in folk-medicine in many parts of the globe. Grimm cites
from a document of 1408 A.D., a passage recording the cure of a leper,
who had been stroked with the hand of a still-born (and, therefore,
sinless) child, which had been rubbed with salve (361. 34). In
Steiermark, so Dr. Strack informs us, "a favourite cure for birth-marks
is to touch them with the hand of a dead person, especially of a child"
(361. 35). Among the charges made by the Chinese against the foreigners,
who are so anxious to enter their dominions, is one of "kidnapping and
buying children in order to make charms and medicines out of their eyes,
hearts, and other portions of their bodies." This belief induced the
riot of June, 1870, an account of which has been given by Baron Hubner,
and similar incidents occurred in 1891 and 1892. Somewhat the same
charges have been made (in 1891, for example) by the natives of
Madagascar against the French and other foreigners (361. 37).


Among many primitive peoples, as is the case with the Zulus, Bechuana,
Japanese (formerly), Nez Perces, Cayuse, Walla-Wallas, Wascos, etc., the
office of "doctor" is hereditary, and is often exercised at a
comparatively early age (397. 275). Dr. Pitre has recently discussed
some interesting cases in this connection in modern Italy (322).

Among certain Indian tribes of the Rocky Mountain region of the
northwestern United States, although he cannot properly practise his art
until he reaches manhood, the "medicine-man" (here, doctor) begins his
candidacy in his eighth or tenth year. Of the "wizards," or "doctors" of
the Patagonians, Falkner says, that they "are selected in youth for
supposed qualifications, especially if epileptic" (406. 456). While
among the Dieyerie of South Australia, the "doctor" is not allowed to
practise before having been circumcised, or to enter upon the duties of
his office before completing his tenth year, those young people become
"doctors," who, as children, "have seen the devil," i.e. have seen in a
troubled dream the demon _Kutchie_, or have had the nightmare. The
belief is, that in this way, the power to heal has been imparted to the
child (397. 75). Among the Yuki Indians of California, "the
'poison-doctor' is the most important member of the profession. The
office is hereditary; a little child is prepared for holding it by being
poisoned and then cured, which, in their opinion, renders him
invulnerable ever afterward" (519. 131). Among the Tunguses, of Siberian
llussia, a child afflicted with cramps or with bleeding at the nose and
mouth, is declared by an old shaman ("medicine-man," or
"medicine-woman") to be called to the profession, and is then termed
_hudildon_. After the child has completed its second year, it is
taken care of by an old shaman, who consecrates it with various
ceremonies; from this time forth it is called _jukejeren_, and is
instructed by the old man in the mysteries of his art (482. III. 105).
With these people also the female shamans have the assistance of boys
and girls to carry their implements and perform other like services
(397. 66). An excellent account of shamanism in Siberia and European
Eussia has been given by Professor Mikhailovskii (504), of Moscow, who
gives among other details a notice of the _kamlanie_, or
spirit-ceremonial of a young shaman belonging to one of the Turkish
tribes of the Altai Mountains (504. 71). Among the Samoyeds and Ostiaks
of Siberia, "the shamans succeed to the post by inheritance from father
to son" (504. 86). On the death of a shaman, "his son, who desires to
have power over the spirits, makes of wood an image of the dead man's
hand, and by means of this symbol succeeds to his father's power. Those
destined to be shamans spend their youth in practices which irritate the
nervous system and excite the imagination."

Among the Buryats of southern Siberia, it is thought that "the dead
ancestors who were shamans choose from their living kinsfolk a boy who
is to inherit their power. This child is marked by signs; he is often
thoughtful, fond of solitude, a seer of prophetic visions, subject,
occasionally, to fits, during which he is unconscious. The Buryats
believe that at such a time the boy's soul is with the spirits, who are
teaching him; if he is to be a white shaman, with the western spirits;
if he is to be a black shaman, among the eastern spirits." Usually, the
youth does not enter upon his duties until he has reached his twentieth
year (504.87).

The tribes of the Altai believe that "the ability to shamanize is
inborn; instruction only gives a knowledge of the chants, prayers, and
external rites." There is in early life an innate tendency to sickness
and frenzy, against which, we are told, the elect struggle in vain
(504.90): "Those who have the shamanist sickness endure physical
torments; they have cramps in the arms and legs, until they are sent to
a _kam_ [shaman] to be educated. The tendency is hereditary; a
_kam_ often has children predisposed to attacks of illness. If, in
a family where there is no shaman, a boy or a girl is subject to fits,
the Altaians are persuaded that one of its ancestors was a shaman. A
_kam_ told Potanin that the shamanist passion was hereditary, like
noble birth. If the _kam's_ own son does not feel any inclination,
some one of the nephews is sure to have the vocation. There are cases of
men becoming shamans at their own wish, but these _kams_ are much
less powerful than those born to the profession." Thus the whole
training of the _kam_ from childhood up to exercise of his official
duties is such as "to augment his innate tendencies, and make him an
abnormal man, unlike his fellows." When fully qualified, he functions as
"priest, physician, wizard, diviner."


Of the childhood of Moses Oriental legend has much to say. One story
tells how the daughter of Pharaoh, a leper, was healed as she stretched
out her hand to the infant whom she rescued from the waters of Nile.
Well thus resumes the tale (547.122):--

"The eldest of the seven princesses first discovered the little ark and
carried it to the bank to open it. On her removing the lid, there beamed
a light upon her, which her eyes were not able to endure. She cast a
veil over Moses, but at that instant her own face, which hitherto had
been covered with scars and sores of all the most hideous colours
imaginable, shone like the moon in its brightness and purity, and her
sisters exclaimed in amazement, 'By what means hast thou been so
suddenly freed from leprosy?' 'By the miraculous power of this child,'
replied the eldest. The glance which beamed upon me when I beheld it
unveiled, has chased away the impurity of my body, as the rising sun
scatters the gloom of night.' The six sisters, one after the other, now
lifted the veil from Moses' face, and they, too, became fair as if they
had been formed of the finest silver. The eldest then took the ark upon
her head, and carried it to her mother, Asia, relating to her in how
miraculous a manner both she and her sisters had been healed."

We also learn that when Moses was six years old, being teased by Pharaoh
until he was angry, he kicked the throne over so that the king fell and
injured himself so that he bled at the mouth and nose. The intercession
of Asia and the seven princesses seemed vain, and the king was about to
thrust Moses through with his sword, when "there flew a white cock
toward the king, and cried: 'Pharaoh, if thou spill the blood of this
child, thy daughters shall be more leprous than before.' Pharaoh cast a
glance upon the princesses; and, as if from dread and fright, their
faces were already suffused with a ghastly yellow, he desisted again
from his bloody design" (547. 127).


To other heroes, kings, saints, the power to heal which characterized
their years of discretion is often ascribed to them in childhood,
especially where and when it happens that the same individual is
prophet, priest, and king. In the unnumbered miracles of the Church
children have often figured. Lupellus, in his life of St. Frodibert
(seventh century A.D.), says: "When Frodibert was a mere child he cured
his mother's blindness, as, in the fulness of love and pity, he kissed
her darkened eyes, and signed them with the sign of the cross. Not only
was her sight restored, but it was keener than ever" (191. 45). Of St.
Patrick (373-464 A.D.) it is told: "On the day of his baptism he gave
sight to a man born blind; the blind man took hold of the babe's hand,
and with it made on the ground a sign of the cross." Another account
makes the miracle a triple one: "A blind man, taking hold of St.
Patrick's right hand, guided it into making on the ground a cross, when
instantly three miracles ensued: (1) A spring of water bubbled from the
dry ground; (2) the blind man, bathing his eyes with this water,
received his sight; and (3) the man, who before could neither write nor
read, was instantly inspired with both these gifts" (191. 237).

Brewer relates other instances of the miraculous power of the
child-saint from the lives of St. Genevieve (423-512, A.D.), St. Vitus,
who at the age of twelve caused the arms and legs of the Emperor
Aurelian to wither, but on the Emperor owning the greatness of God, the
"child-magician," as the monarch had termed him, made Aurelian whole
again; St. Sampson (565 A.D.), who cured a fellow schoolboy of a deadly
serpent's bite; Marianne de Quito (1618-1645 A.D.), who cured herself of
a gangrened finger (191. 442).

In his interesting chapters on _Fairy Births and Human Midwives_,
Mr. Hartland informs us that young girls have sometimes been called upon
to go to fairy-land and usher into the world of elves some little sprite
about to be born. Instances of this folk-belief are cited from
Pomerania, Swabia, Silesia. Rewards and presents are given the maiden on
her return, and often her whole family is blest, if she has acted well
(258. 37-92).

Close, indeed, are often the ties between the saint and the physician;
the healer of the soul and the healer of the body are frequently the
same. Other links bind the doctor to the hero and to the god. Of
AEsculapius, the great son of Apollo, exposed in childhood by his
mother, but nurtured by the goat of the shepherd Aresthanas, and guarded
by his dog, when he grew up to manhood, became so skilled in the uses of
herbs and other medicines that he received divine honours after his
death and came to be looked upon as the inventor of medicine as well as
god of the healing art.

_Origin of the Healing Art_

With some primitive peoples even the child is their. AEsculapius, at
once human and divine, hero and god. An Iroquois legend recorded by Mrs.
Smith attributes to a boy the discovery of witch-charms: "A certain boy
while out hunting came across a beautiful snake. Taking a great fancy to
it, he caught it and cared for it, feeding it on birds, etc., and made a
bark bowl in which he kept it. He put fibres, down, and small feathers
into the water with the snake, and soon found that these things had
become living beings. From this fact he naturally conjectured that the
snake was endowed with supernatural powers." So he went on
experimenting, and discovered many of the virtues of the snake water:
rubbing it on his eyes would make him see in the dark and see hidden
things; pointing his finger, after having dipped it in the bowl, at any
one would bewitch that person; by using it in certain other ways he
could become like a snake, travel very fast, even become invisible;
deadly indeed were arrows dipped in this liquid, and pointing a feather
so dipped at any game-animal would cause it to start for the creature
and kill it. In this fashion the boy learned the secret art of
witchcraft. Afterwards, by experimenting, he discovered, among the
various roots and herbs, the proper antidotes and counteracting agents
(534, 69, 70).

In his detailed account of the medicine-society of the Ojibwa, Dr.
Hoffman tells how the mysteries of the "Grand Medicine" were taught to
the Indians by the Sun-spirit, who at the request of the great Manido,
came down to earth and dwelt among men in the form of a little boy,
raising to life again his dead play-mate, the child of the people who
adopted him. After his mission was fulfilled, he "returned to his
kindred spirits, for the Indians would have no need to fear sickness, as
they now possessed the Grand Medicine which would enable them to live.
He also said that his spirit could bring a body to life but once, and he
would now return to the sun, from which they would feel his influence."
So the institution of "medicine" among the Ojibwa is called
_Kwí-wí-sens' we-di'-shi-tshi ge-wi-nip_, "Little-boy-his-work"
(473. 172,173).



  Nearer the gates of Paradise than we
  Our children breathe its air, its angels see;
  And when they pray, God hears their simple prayer,
  Yea, even sheathes his sword, in judgment bare.

  --_R. H. Stoddard._

  The youth, who daily farther from the east
  Must travel, still is nature's priest.--_Wordsworth_.

_Priestly Training_.

Instruction in the priestly art in Africa begins sometimes almost at
birth. Bastian informs us (529. 58):--

"Women who have been long barren, or who have lost their children, are
wont to dedicate to the service of the fetich the unborn fruit of the
womb, and to present to the village priest the new-born babe. He
exercises it, at an early age, in those wild dances with deafening
drum-accompaniment, by means of which he is accustomed to gain the
requisite degree of spiritual exaltation; and in later years he
instructs his pupil in the art of understanding, while his frame is
wracked with convulsions, the inspirations of the demon and of giving
fitting responses to questions proposed."

Of the one sex we read (529. 56):--

"Every year the priests assemble the boys who are entering the state of
puberty, and take them into the forest. There they settle and form an
independent commonwealth, under very strict regulations, however; and
every offence against the rules is sternly punished. The wound given in
circumcision commonly heals in one week, yet they remain in the woods
for a period of six months, cut off from all intercourse with the
outside world, and in the meanwhile each receives separate instruction
how to prepare his medicine-bag. Forever after, each one is mystically
united with the fetich who presides over his life. Even their nearest
relatives are not allowed to visit the boys in this retreat; and women
are threatened with the severest punishment if they be only found in the
neighbourhood of a forest containing such a boy-colony. When the priest
declares the season of probation at an end, the boys return home and are
welcomed back with great rejoicings."

Concerning the other, Bosman, as reported by Schultze, says that among
the negroes of Whida, where snake-worship prevails (529. 80)--

"Every year the priestesses, armed with clubs, go about the country,
picking out and carrying away girls of from eight to twelve years of
age, for the service of the god. These children are kindly treated and
instructed in songs and dances _in majorem gloriam_ of his
snakeship. In due time they are consecrated by tattooing on their bodies
certain figures, especially those of serpents. The negroes suppose it is
the snake himself that marks his elect thus. Having received their
training and consecration, which are paid for by the parents according
to their means, the children return home; and when they attain their
majority are espoused to the Serpent."

In Ashanti, according to Ellis, the children of a priest or of a
priestess "are not ordinarily educated for the priestly profession, one
generation being usually passed over [a curious primitive recognition of
the idea in our common saying, "genius skips a generation"], and the
grand-children selected" (438. 121). At the village of Suru several
children (male and female) and youths are handed over to the priests and
priestesses to be instructed in the service of the gods, when the
goddess was thought to be offended, and in the ceremonials when the new
members are tested, youths and children take part, smeared all over with
white (438. 130).

Among the natives of the Andaman Islands, as Mr. Man informs us,
sometimes even "a young boy is looked upon as a coming
_oko-paiad_." The word signifies literally "dreamer," and such
individuals are "credited with the possession of supernatural powers,
such as second sight" (498. 28).

Captain Bourke, in his detailed account of the "medicine-men" of the
Apaches, speaking of the Pueblos Indians, says: "While I was at Tusayan,
in 1881, I heard of a young boy, quite a child, who was looked up to by
the other Indians, and on special occasions made his appearance decked
out in much native finery of beads and gewgaws, but the exact nature of
his duties and supposed responsibilities could not be ascertained." He
seems to have been a young "medicine-man" (406. 456).

Into the "medicine-society" of the Delaware Indians "the boys were
usually initiated at the age of twelve or fourteen years, with very
trying ceremonies, fasting, want of sleep, and other tests of their
physical and mental stamina." Of these same aborigines the missionary
Brainerd states: "Some of their diviners (or priests) are endowed with
the spirit in infancy; others in adult age. It seems not to depend upon
their own will, nor to be acquired by any endeavours of the person who
is the subject of it, although it is supposed to be given to children
sometimes in consequence of some means which the parents use with them
for that purpose" (516. 81).

Among the Chippeway (Ojibwa), also, children are permitted to belong to
the "Midéwewin or 'Grand Medicine Society,'" of which Dr. W. J. Hoffman
has given so detailed a description--Sikassige, a Chippeway of Mille
Lacs, having taken his "first degree" at ten years of age (473.172).

_The Angakok_.

Among the Eskimo the _angakok_, or shaman, trains his child from
infancy in the art of sorcery, taking him upon his knee during his
incantations and conjurations. In one of the tales in the collection of
Rink we read (525. 276): "A great _angakok_ at his conjurations
always used to talk of his having been to Akilinek [a fabulous land
beyond the ocean], and his auditors fully believed him. Once he forced
his little son to attend his conjurations, sitting upon his knee. The
boy, who was horribly frightened, said: 'Lo! what is it I see? The stars
are dropping down in the old grave on yonder hill.' The father said:
'When the old grave is shining to thee, it will enlighten thy
understanding.' When the boy had been lying in his lap for a while, he
again burst out: 'What is it I now see? The bones in the old grave are
beginning to join together.' The father only repeating his last words,
the son grew obstinate and wanted to run away, but the father still kept
hold of him. Lastly, the ghost from the grave came out, and being called
upon by the _angakok_, he entered the house to fetch the boy, who
only perceived a strong smell of maggots, and then fainted away. On
recovering his senses, he found himself in the grave quite naked, and
when he arose and looked about, his nature was totally altered--he found
himself able at a sight to survey the whole country to the farthest
north, and nothing was concealed from him. All the dwelling-places of
man appeared to be close together, side by side; and on looking at the
sea, he saw his father's tracks stretching across to Akilinek. When
going down to the house, he observed his clothes flying through the air,
and had only to put forth his hands and feet to make them cover his body
again. But on entering the house he looked exceedingly pale, because of
the great _angakok_ wisdom he had acquired down in the old grave.
After he had become an _angakok_ himself, he once went on a flight
to Akilinek."

Besides this interesting account of an _angakok_ séance, the same
authority, in the story of the _angakok_ Tugtutsiak, records the
following (525. 324): "Tugtutsiak and his sister were a couple of
orphans, and lived in a great house. It once happened that all the
grown-up people went away berry-gathering, leaving all children at home.
Tugtutsiak, who happened to be the eldest of them, said: 'Let us try to
conjure up spirits'; and some of them proceeded to make up the necessary
preparations, while he himself undressed, and covered the door with his
jacket, and closed the opening at the sleeves with a string. He now
commenced the invocation, while the other children got mortally
frightened, and were about to take flight. But the slabs of the floor
were lifted high in the air, and rushed after them. Tugtutsiak would
have followed them, but felt himself sticking fast to the floor, and
could not get loose until he had made the children come back, and
ordered them to uncover the door, and open the window, on which it again
became light in the room, and he was enabled to get up."

Girls, too, among the Eskimo, could become _angakoks_ or shamans.
Rink tells of one who visited the under-world, where she received
presents, but these, while she was carrying them home, "were wafted out
of her hands, and flew back to their first owners."

Of the Pawnee Indians, Mr. Grinnell informs us that the legend of their
wanderings tells of a boy in whose possession was the sacred
"medicine-bundle" of the tribe, and who was regarded as the
oracle-interpreter (480 (1893). 125).


As Dr. Mackay has remarked, in all the woeful annals of the
witch-persecutions, there is nothing so astounding and revolting as the
burning and putting to death of mere children for practising the arts of
the devil. Against innocents of both sexes counting no more than ten or
twelve years, there appear on the records the simple but significant
words _convicta et combusta_--convicted and burned. Here the
degradation of intellect and morals reaches its lowest level; it was
Satan and not Jesus who bade the children come unto him; their portion
was the kingdom of hell, not that of heaven. In Würzburg, between 1627
and 1629, no fewer than 157 persons suffered death for witchcraft
(guilty and innocent), and among these were included "the prettiest girl
in the town"; two mere boys; a wandering boy of twelve; a maiden of nine
and her sister, younger in years; two boys of twelve; a girl of fifteen;
a boy of ten and a boy of twelve; three boys of from ten to fifteen
years of age. At Lille, in 1639, a whole school of girls--fifty in
number--barely escaped burning as witches (496 a. II. 266-287).
Everywhere the maddened, deluded people made sacrifice of their dearest
and holiest, tainted, they thought, with the touch of the evil one (496
a. II. 285). It is a sad comment upon civilization that the last
execution for witchcraft in England, which took place in 1716, was that
of "Mrs. Hicks and her daughter, _a child nine years of age_, who
were hung at Huntingdon, for 'selling their souls to the devil; and
raising a storm, by pulling off their stockings and making a lather of
soap'" (191. 344).

In the _London Times_ for Dec. 8, 1845, appeared the following
extract from the _Courier_, of Inverness, Scotland: "Our Wick
contemporary gives the following recent instance of gross ignorance and
credulity: 'Not far from Louisburg there lives a girl who, until a few
days ago, was suspected of being a witch. In order to cure her of the
witchcraft, a neighbour actually put her into a creed half-filled with
wood and shavings, and hung her above a fire, setting the shavings in a
blaze. Fortunately for the child and himself, she was not injured, and
it is said that the gift of sorcery has been taken away from her. At all
events, the intelligent neighbours aver that she is not half so
witch-like in appearance since she was singed" (408. III. 14).

Concerning the sect of the Nagualists or "Magicians" of Mexico and
Central America Dr. Brinton tells us much in his interesting little book
(413). These sorcerers recruited their ranks from both sexes, and "those
who are selected to become the masters of these arts are taught from,
early childhood how to draw and paint these characters and are obliged
to learn by heart the formulas, and the names of the ancient Nagualists,
and whatever else is included in these written documents" (413. 17).

We learn that "in the sacraments of Nagualism, woman was the primate and
hierophant," the admission of the female sex to the most exalted
positions and the most esoteric degrees being a remarkable feature of
this great secret society (413. 33). Indeed, Aztec tradition, like that
of Honduras, speaks of an ancient sorceress, mother of the occult
sciences, and some of the legends of the Nagualists trace much of their
art to a mighty enchantress of old (413. 34).

In 1713, the Tzendals of Chiapas rose in insurrection under the American
Joan of Arc, an Indian girl about twenty years of age, whose Spanish
name was Maria Candelaria. She was evidently a leader of the Nagualists,
and after the failure of the attempt at revolution disappeared in the
forest and was no more heard of (413. 35). Dr. Brinton calls attention
to the fact that Mr. E. G. Squier reports having heard, during his
travels in Central America, of a "_sukia_ woman, as she was called
by the coast Indians, one who lived alone amid the ruins of an old Maya
temple, a sorceress of twenty years, loved and feared, holding death and
life in her hands" (413. 36). There are many other instances of a like
nature showing the important position assigned to girls and young women
in the esoteric rites, secret societies, magic, sorcery, and witch-
craft of primitive peoples.


A curious custom attached itself to the day of St. Nicholas, of Patara
in Lycia (died 343 A.D.), the patron saint of boys, after whom the
American boys' magazine _St. Nicholas_ is aptly named. Brewer, in
his _Dictionary of Phrase and Fable_, has the following paragraph
concerning the "Boy-Bishop," as he is termed: "The custom of choosing a
boy from the cathedral choir, etc., on St. Nicholas day (6th December),
as a mock bishop is very ancient. The boy possessed episcopal honour for
three weeks, and the rest of the choir were his prebends. If he died
during the time of his prelacy, he was buried _in pontificalibus_.
Probably the reference is to Jesus Christ sitting in the Temple among
the doctors while he was a boy. The custom was abolished in the reign of
Henry Eighth" (p. 110). Brand gives many details of the election and
conduct of the "Boy-Bishops," and the custom seems to have been in vogue
in almost every parish and collegiate church (408. I. 415-431). Bishop
Hall thus expresses himself on the subject: "What merry work it was here
in the days of our holy fathers (and I know not whether, in some places
it may not be so still), that upon St. Nicholas, St. Katherine, St.
Clement, and Holy Innocents' Day, children were wont to be arrayed in
chimers, rochets, surplices, to counterfeit bishops and priests, and to
be led with songs and dances from house to house, blessing the people,
who stood grinning in the way to expect that ridiculous benediction.
Yea, that boys in that holy sport were wont to sing masses, and to climb
into the pulpit to preach (no doubt learnedly and edifyingly) to the
simple auditory. And this was so really done, that in the cathedral
church of Salisbury (unless it be lately defaced) there is a perfect
monument of one of these Boy-Bishops (who died in the time of his young
pontificality), accoutred in his episcopal robes, still to be seen. A
fashion that lasted until the later times of King Henry the Eighth, who,
in 1541, by his solemn Proclamation, printed by Thomas Bertlet, the
king's printer, _cum privilegio_, straitly forbad the practice."

When King Edward First was on his way to Scotland, in 1299, we are told,
"he permitted one of these Boy-Bishops to say vespers before him in his
Chapel at Heton, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and made a considerable
present to the said bishop, and certain other boys that came and sang
with him on the occasion, on the 7th of December, the day after St.
Nicholas's Day" (408. I. 422).

The records of the churches contain many particulars of the election,
duties, and regalia of these boy-bishops, whence it would appear that
expense and ceremony were not spared on these occasions.

Another boy-bishop was paid "thirteen shillings and sixpence for singing
before King Edward the Third, in his chamber, on the day of the Holy
Innocents" (408. I. 428).

The Boy-Bishop of Salisbury, whose service set to music is printed in
the _Processionale et usum insignis et preclare Ecclesie Sarum,_
1566, is actually said "to have had the power of disposing of such
prebends there as happened to fall vacant during the days of his
episcopacy" (408. I. 424). With the return of Catholicism under Mary, as
Brand remarks, the Boy-Bishop was revived, for we find an edict of the
Bishop of London, issued Nov. 13, 1554, to all the clergy of his
diocese, to the effect that "they should have a Boy-Bishop in
procession," and Warton notes that "one of the child-bishop's songs, as
it was sung before the Queen's Majesty, in her privy chamber; at her
manor of St. James in the Field's on St. Nicholas's Day, and Innocents'
Day, 1555, by the child-bishop of St. Paul's, with his company, was
printed that year in London, containing a fulsome panegyric on the
queen's devotions, comparing her to Judith, Esther, the Queen of Sheba,
and the Virgin Mary" (408. I. 429-430). The places at which the
ceremonies of the Boy-Bishop have been particularly noted are:
Canterbury, Eton, St. Paul's, London, Colchester, Winchester, Salisbury,
Westminster, Lambeth, York, Beverly, Rotherham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
etc. The Boy-Bishop was known also in Spain and in France; in the latter
country he was called Pape-Colas. In Germany, at the Council of
Salzburg, in 1274, on account of the scandals they gave rise to, the
_ludi noxii quos vulgaris eloquentia_ Episcopatus Puerorum
_appellat,_ were placed under the ban (408. I. 426).

It would appear from the mention of "children strangely decked and
apparelled to counterfeit priests, bishops, and women," that on these
occasions "divine service was not only performed by boys, but by little
girls," and "there is an injunction given to the Benedictine Nunnery of
Godstowe in Oxfordshire, by Archbishop Peckham, in the year 1278, that
on Innocents' Day the public prayers should not any more be said in the
church of that monastery _per parvulas, i.e._ little girls" (408.
I. 428).

Though with the Protestantism of Elizabeth the Boy-Bishop and his revels
were put down by the authorities, they continued to survive, in some
places at least, the end of her reign. Puttenham, in his _Art of
Poesie_ (1589), observes: "On St. Nicholas's night, commonly, the
scholars of the country make them a bishop, who, like a foolish boy,
goeth about blessing and preaching with such childish terms as make the
people laugh at his foolish counterfeit speeches" (408. 427). Brand
recognizes in the _iter ad montem_ of the scholars at Eton the
remnants of the ceremonies of the Boy-Bishop and his associates (408.
432); and indeed a passage which he cites from the _Status Scholæ
Etonensis_ (1560) shows that "in the Papal times the Eton scholars
(to avoid interfering, as it should seem, with the boy-bishop of the
college there on St. Nicholas's Day) elected _their_ boy-bishop on
St. Hugh's Day, in the month of November." In the statutes (1518) of St.
Paul's School, we meet with the following: "All these children shall
every Childermas Day come to Pauli's Church, and hear the Child-bishop
sermon; and after he be at the high mass, and each of them offer a
1_d_. to the Child-bishop, and with them the masters and surveyors
of the school." Brand quotes Strype, the author of the _Ecclesiastical
Memorials_, as observing: "I shall only remark, that there might be
this at least said in favour of this old custom, that it gave a spirit
to the children; and the hopes that they might one time or other attain
to the real mitre made them mind their books."

In his poem, _The Boy and the Angel_, Robert Browning tells how
Theocrite, the boy-craftsman, sweetly praised God amid his weary toil.
On Easter Day he wished he might praise God as Pope, and the angel
Gabriel took the boy's place in the workshop, while the latter became
Pope in Rome. But the new. Pope sickened of the change, and God himself
missed the welcome praise of the happy boy. So back went the Pope to the
workshop and boyhood, and praise rose up to God as of old. Somewhat
different from the poet's story is the tale of the lama of Tibet, a real
boy-pope. The Grand Lama, or Pope, is looked upon as an incarnation of
Buddha and as immortal, never suffering death, but merely transmigration
(100. 499).

Among various peoples, the child has occupied all sacerdotal positions
from acolyte to pope--priest he has been, not in barbarism alone, but in
the midst of culture and civilization, where often the jest begun has
ended in sober earnest. In the ecclesiastical, as well as in the
secular, kingdom, the child has often come to his throne when "young in
years, but in sage counsel old."



  O wonderful son, that can so astonish a mother!--_Shakespeare._

  Who can foretell for what high cause
  This Darling of the Gods was born?--_Marvell._

  The haughty eye shall seek in vain
  What innocence beholds;
  No cunning finds the keys of heaven,
  No strength its gate unfolds.

  Alone to guilelessness and love
  That gate shall open fall;
  The mind of pride is nothingness,
  The childlike heart is all.--_Whittier._

Carlyle has said: "The History of the World is the Biography of Great
Men." He might have added, that in primitive times much of the History
of the World is the Biography of Great Children. Andrew Lang, in his
edition of _Perrault's Tales,_ speaking of _Le Petit Poucet_
(Hop o' My Thumb), says: "While these main incidents of Hop o' My Thumb
are so widely current, the general idea of a small and tricksy being is
found frequently, from the Hermes of the Homeric Hymn to the Namaqua
Heitsi Eibib, the other _Poucet_, or Tom Thumb, and the Zulu
Uhlakanyana. Extraordinary precocity, even from the day of birth,
distinguishes these beings (as Indra and Hermes) in _myth._ In
_Marchen_, it is rather their smallness and astuteness than their
youth that commands admiration, though they are often very precocious.
The general sense of the humour of 'infant prodigies' is perhaps the
origin of these romances" (p. ex.).

This world-homage to childhood finds apt expression in the verses of
Mrs. Darmesteter:--

  "Laying at the children's feet
   Each his kingly crown,
  Each, the conquering power to greet,
   Laying humbly down.
  Sword and sceptre as is meet."

All over the globe we find wonder-tales of childhood, stories of the
great deeds of children, whose venturesomeness has saved whole
communities from destruction, whose heroism has rid the world of giants
and monsters of every sort, whose daring travels and excursions into
lands or skies unknown have resulted in the great increase of human
knowledge and the advancement of culture and civilization. In almost all
departments of life the child-hero has left his mark, and there is much
to tell of his wonderful achievements.

_Finnish Child-Heroes_.

In Finnish story we meet with _Pikku mies_, the dwarf-god, and in
Altaic legend the child _Kan Püdai_, who was fed upon two hundred
hares, who tames wild animals, makes himself a bow and bow-string, and
becomes a mighty hero. In Esthonian folk-lore we have the tale of the
seven-year-old wise girl, the persecution to which she was subjected at
the hands of her stepmother, and the great deeds she accomplished (422.
II. 144, 147, 154). But, outside of the wonderful infancy of
Wäinämöinen, the culture-hero of the Finns, whom the _Kalevala_ has
immortalized, we find some striking tributes to the child-spirit. In the
closing canto of this great epic, which, according to Andrew Lang,
tells, in savage fashion, the story of the introduction of Christianity,
we learn how the maiden Marjatta, "as pure as the dew is, as holy as
stars are that live without stain," was feeding her flocks and listening
to the singing of the golden cuckoo, when a berry fell into her bosom,
and she conceived and bore a son, whereupon the people despised and
rejected her. Moreover, no one would baptize the infant: "The god of the
wilderness refused, and Wäinämöinen would have had the young child
slain. Then the infant rebuked the ancient demi-god, who fled in anger
to the sea." As Wäinämöinen was borne away in his magic barque by the
tide, he lifted up his voice and sang how when men should have need of
him they would look for his return, "bringing back sunlight and
moonshine, and the joy that is vanished from the world." Thus did the
rebuke of the babe close the reign of the demi-gods of old (484.


On the other hand, it is owing to a child, says a sweet Italian legend,
that "the gates of heaven are forever ajar." A little girl-angel, up in
heaven, sat grief-stricken beside the gate, and begged the celestial
warder to set the gates ajar:--

 "I can hear my mother weeping;
  She is lonely; she cannot see
  A glimmer of light in the darkness,
  Where the gates shut after me.
  Oh! turn the key, sweet angel,
  The splendour will shine so far!"

But the angel at the gate dared not, and the childish appeal seemed vain
until the mother of Jesus touched his hand, when, lo! "in the little
child-angel's fingers stood the beautiful gates ajar." And they have
been so ever since, for Mary gave to Christ the keys, which he has kept
safe hidden in his bosom, that every sorrowing mother may catch a
glimpse of the glory afar (379. 28-30).

_Persian Deed-Maiden_.

_I fatti sono maschi, le parole femmine_,--deeds are masculine,
words feminine,--says the Italian proverb. The same thought is found in
several of our own writers. George Herbert said bluntly: "Words are
women, deeds are men"; Dr. Madden: "Words are men's daughters, but God's
sons are things"; Dr. Johnson, in the preface to his great dictionary,
embodies the saying of the Hindus: "Words are the daughters of earth,
things are the sons of heaven."

In compensation for so ungracious a distinction, perhaps, the religion
of Zoroaster, the ancient faith of Persia, teaches that, on the other
side of death, the soul is received by its good deeds in the form of a
beautiful maiden who conducts it through the three heavens to Ahura (the
deity of good), and it is refreshed with celestial food (470. II. 421).
That children should be brought into close relationship with the stars
and other celestial bodies is to be expected from the _milieu_ of
folk-life, and the feeling of kinship with all the phenomena of nature.


In his exhaustive essay on _Moon Lore_, Rev. Mr. Harley tells us
that in the Scandinavian mythology, Mâni, the moon, "once took up two
children from the earth, Bill and Hiuki, as they were going from the
well of Byrgir, bearing on their shoulders the bucket Soeg, and the pole
Simul," and placed them in the moon, "where they could be seen from the
earth." The modern Swedish folk-lore represents the spots on the moon as
two children carrying water in a bucket, and it is this version of the
old legend which Miss Humphrey has translated (468. 24-26). Mr. Harley
cites, with approval, Rev. S. Baring-Gould's identification of Hiuki and
Bill, the two moon-children, with the Jack and Jill of the familiar
nursery rhyme:--

  "Jack and Jill went up the hill,
    To fetch a pail of water;
  Jack fell down and broke his crown,
    And Jill came tumbling after."

According to Mr. Duncan, the well-known missionary to certain of the
native tribes of British Columbia, these Indians of the far west have a
version of this legend: "One night a child of the chief class awoke and
cried for water. Its cries were very affecting--'Mother, give me to
drink!' but the mother heeded not. The moon was affected and came down,
entered the house, and approached the child, saying, 'Here is water from
heaven: drink.' The child anxiously laid hold of the pot and drank the
draught, and was enticed to go away with the moon, its benefactor. They
took an underground passage till they got quite clear of the village,
and then ascended to heaven" (468. 35, 36). The story goes on to say
that "the figure we now see in the moon is that very child; and also the
little round basket which it had in its hand when it went to sleep
appears there."

The Rev. George Turner reports a Polynesian myth from the Samoan
Islands, in which the moon is represented as coming down one evening and
picking up a woman, and her child, who was beating out bark in order to
make some of the native cloth. There was a famine in the land; and "the
moon was just rising, and it reminded her of a great bread-fruit.
Looking up to it, she said, 'Why cannot you come down and let my child
have a bit of you?' The moon was indignant at the idea of being eaten,
came down forthwith, and took her up, child, board, mallet, and all." To
this day the Samoans, looking at the moon, exclaim: "Yonder is Sina and
her child, and her mallet and board." Related myths are found in the
Tonga Islands and the Hervey Archipelago (468. 59).

The Eskimo of Greenland believed that the sun and the moon were
originally human beings, brother and sister. The story is that "they
were playing with others at children's games in the dark, when
_Malina_, being teased in a shameful manner by her brother
_Anninga_, smeared her hands with the soot of the lamp, and rubbed
them over the face and hands of her persecutor, that she might recognize
him by daylight. Hence arise the spots in the moon. _Malina_ rushed
to save herself by flight, but her brother followed at her heels. At
length she flew upwards, and became the sun. _Anninga_, followed
her, and became the moon; but being unable to mount so high he runs
continually round the sun in hopes of some time surprising her" (468.

There are many variants of this legend in North and in Central America.

In her little poem _The Children in the Moon_, Miss Humphrey has
versified an old folk-belief that the "tiny cloudlets flying across the
moon's shield of silver" are a little lad and lass with a pole across
their shoulders, at the end of which is swinging a water-bucket. These
children, it is said, used to wander by moonlight to a well in the
northward on summer nights to get a pail of water, until the moon
snatched them up and "set them forever in the middle of his light," so

  "Children, ay, and children's children,
  Should behold my babes on high;
  And my babes should smile forever,
  Calling others to the sky!"

Thus it is that--

 "Never is the bucket empty,
  Never are the children old,
  Ever when the moon is shining
  We the children may behold" (224. 23-25).

In Whittier's _Child Life_, this poem is given as "from the
Scandinavian," with the following additional stanzas:--

 "Ever young and ever little,
  Ever sweet and ever fair!
  When thou art a man, my darling,
  Still the children will be there.

 "Ever young and ever little,
  They will smile when thou art old;
  When thy locks are thin and silver,
  Theirs will still be shining gold.

 "They will haunt thee from their heaven,
  Softly beckoning down the gloom;
  Smiling in eternal sweetness
  On thy cradle, on thy tomb" (379. 115-117).

The Andaman Islanders say that the sun is the wife of the moon, and the
stars are their children--boys and girls--who go to sleep during the
day, and are therefore not seen of men (498. 92). The sun is termed
chä'n'a bo'do, "Mother Sun"; the moon, _mai'a 'o-gar_, "Mr. Moon"
(498. 59). In many other mythologies the stars, either as a whole, or in
part, figure as children. In the figurative language of ancient records
the patriarchs are promised descendants as numerous as the stars of
heaven, and in the Tshi language of Western Africa, the stars are termed
_woh-rabbah_, from _woh_, "to breed, multiply, be fruitful,"
and _abbah_, "children." The South Australian natives thought the
stars were groups of children, and even in the classic legends of Greece
and Rome more than one child left earth to shine in heaven as a star.

In the belief of the natives of the Hervey Islands, in the South
Pacific, the double star µ¹ and µ² _Scorpii_ is a brother and
sister, twins, who, fleeing from a scolding mother, leapt up into the
sky. The bright stars [Greek: _m_] and [Greek: _l_]
_Scorpii_ are their angry parents who follow in pursuit, but never
succeed in overtaking their runaway children, who, clinging close
together,--for they were very fond of each other,--flee on and on
through the blue sky. The girl, who is the elder, is called
_Inseparable_, and Mr. Gill tells us that a native preacher,
alluding to this favourite story, declared, with a happy turn of speech,
that "Christ and the Christian should be like these twin stars, ever
linked together, come life, come death." He could scarcely have chosen a
more appropriate figure. The older faith that was dying lent the moral
of its story to point the eloquence of the new (458. 40-43).

_Hindu Child-Heroes_.

In the Rig-Veda we have the story of the three brothers, the youngest of
whom, Tritas, is quite a child, but accomplishes wonderful things and
evinces more than human knowledge; also the tale of Vikramâdityas, the
wise child (422. II. 136).

In the interesting collection of Bengalese folk-tales by Rev. Lal Behari
Day we find much that touches upon childhood: The story of the "Boy whom
Seven Mothers Suckled," and his wonderful deeds in the country of the
Rakshasis (cannibals)--how he obtained the bird with whose life was
bound up that of the wicked queen, and so brought about her death; the
tale of the "Boy with the Moon on his Forehead"--how he rescued the
beautiful Lady Pushpavati from the power of the Rakshasis over-sea! We
have also the wonder-tales of Buddha.

In a tale of the Panjâb, noted by Temple (542. II. xvi.), "a couple of
gods, as children, eat up at a sitting a meal meant for 250,000 people";
and in a Little Russian story "a mother had a baby of extraordinary
habits. When alone, he jumped out of the cradle, no longer a baby, but a
bearded old man, gobbled up the food out of the store, and then lay down
again a screeching babe." He was finally exorcised (258. 119). A huge
appetite is a frequent characteristic of changelings in fairy-stories

_Japanese Child-Heroes_.

The hero of Japanese boys is Kintaro, the "Wild Baby," the "Golden
Darling." Companionless he played with the animals, put his arm around
their necks, and rode upon their backs. Of him we are told: "He was
prince of the forest; the rabbits, wild boars, squirrels and pheasants
and hawks, were his servants and messengers." He is the apotheosis of
the child in Japan, "the land of the holy gods," as its natives proudly
termed it (245.121).

Another boy-hero is Urashima, who visited Elysium in a fishing-boat. A
third phenomenal child of Japanese story is "Peach Darling," who, while
yet a baby, lifted the wash-tub and balanced the kettle on his head
(245. 62). We must remember, however, that the Japanese call their
beautiful country "the land of the holy gods," and the whole nation
makes claim to a divine ancestry. Visits to the other world, the
elfin-land, etc., are found all over the world.


In Germany and Austria we have the stories of (258. 140-160): The girl
who stole the serpent-king's crown; the Pomeranian farmer's boy who,
after quenching his thirst with the brown beer of the fairies, tried to
run off with the can of pure silver in which it was contained (in a
Cornish legend, however, the farmer's boy pockets one of the rich silver
goblets which stood on the tables in the palace of the king of the
piskies, or fairies, and proves the truth of the story he has afterwards
to tell by producing the goblet, "which remained in the boy's family for
generations, though unfortunately it is no longer forthcoming for the
satisfaction of those who may still be sceptical." A like origin has
been suggested for the celebrated "Luck of Edenhall," and the "Horn of
Oldenburg," and other like relics); the Carinthian girl, who, climbing a
mountain during the noon-hour, entered through a door in the rock, and
remained away a whole year, though it seemed but a little while; the
baker's boy who visited the lost Emperor in the mountain--the
Barbarossa-Otto legend; the baker's daughter of Ruffach, who made her
father rich by selling bread to the soldiers in a great subterranean
camp; the girl of Silesia, who is admitted into a cavern, where abides a
buried army; and many more of a similar nature, to be read in Grimm and
the other chroniclers of fairy-land (258. 216. 217).

Among the Danish legends of kindred type we find the tales of: The boy
who ran off with the horn out of which an elf-maiden offered him a
drink, and would not return it until she had promised to bestow upon him
the strength of twelve men, with which, unluckily, went also the
appetite of twelve men (258. 144).


Among the Welsh tales of the child as hero and adventurer are: The visit
of Elidorus (afterwards a priest), when twelve years old, to the
underground country, where he stole a golden ball, which, however, the
pigmies soon recovered; the youths who were drawn into the fairies' ring
and kept dancing for a year and a day until reduced to a mere skeleton;
the little farmer's son, who was away among the fairies for two years,
though he thought he had been absent but a day; corresponding is the
Breton tale of the girl who acts as godmother to a fairy child, and
remains away for ten long years, though for only two days in her own
mind (258. 135, 136, 168, 170).

Very interesting is the Breton legend of the youth who undertook to take
a letter to God,--_Monsieur le Bon Dieu_,--in Paradise. When he
reaches Paradise, he gives the letter to St. Peter, who proceeds to
deliver it. While he is away, the youth, noticing the spectacles on the
table, tries them on, and is astonished at the wonders he sees, and
still more at the information given him by St. Peter on his return, that
he has been gazing through them five hundred years. Another hundred
years he passes in looking at the seat kept for him in Paradise, and
then receives the answer to the letter, which he is to take to the
parish priest. After distributing in alms the hundred crowns he is paid
for his services, he dies and goes to Paradise to occupy the seat he has
seen. As Mr. Hartland remarks, "the variants of this traditional
Pilgrim's Progress are known from Brittany to Transylvania, and from
Iceland to Sicily" (258. 192).


A remarkable child-hero tale is the Basque legend of the orphans, Izar
(seven years old) and Lañoa (nine years old), and their adventures with
Satan and the witches,--how Izar cured the Princess and killed the great
toad which was the cause of her complaint, and how Lañoa defied Satan to
his face, meeting death by his action, but gaining heaven (505. 19-41).

_American Indian Child-Heroes_.

In a legend of the Tlingit Indians concerning the visit of Ky'itlac', a
man who had killed himself, to the upper country ruled by Tahit, whither
go such as die a violent death, we read that--

"When he looked down upon the earth, he saw the tops of the trees
looking like so many pins. But he wished to return to the earth. He
pulled his blanket over his head and flung himself down. He arrived at
the earth unhurt, and found himself at the foot of some trees. Soon he
discovered a small house, the door of which was covered with mats. He
peeped into it, and heard a child crying that had just been born. He
himself was that child, and when he came to be grown up he told the
people of Tahit. They had heard about him before, but only then they
learnt everything about the upper world" (403. 48, 49).

In a legend of the Kwakiutl Indians of Vancouver Island, a chief killed
by a rival goes to the other world, but returns to earth in his
grandson: "It was Ank-oa'lagyilis who was thus born again. The boy, when
a few years old, cried and wanted to have a small boat made, and, when
he had got it, asked for a bow and arrows. His father scolded him for
having so many wishes. Then the boy said, 'I was at one time your
father, and have returned from heaven.' His father did not believe him,
but then the boy said, 'You know that Ank-oa'lagyilis had gone to bury
his property, and nobody knows where it is. I will show it to you.' He
took his father right to the place where it lay hidden, and bade him
distribute it. There were two canoe-loads of blankets. Now the people
knew that Ank'oa'lagyilis had returned. He said, 'I was with _ata_
[the deity], but he sent me back.' They asked him to tell about heaven,
but he refused to do so." The boy afterwards became a chief, and it is
said he refused to take revenge upon his murderer (404. 59).

In the mythology of the Siouan tribes we meet with the "Young Rabbit,"
born of a piece of the clotted blood of the Buffalo killed by Grizzly
Bear, which the Rabbit had stolen. According to legend the Rabbit
"addressed the blood, calling it his son, and ordering it to become a
little child, and when he had ordered it to advance from infancy,
through boyhood to youth, and from youth to manhood, his commands were
obeyed." The "Young Rabbit" kills the Grizzly and delivers his own father
(480 (1892). 293-304).

The legend of the "Blood-clot Boy" is also recorded from the narration
of the Blackfeet Indians by Bev. John MacLean and Mr. Grinnell. The tale
of his origin is as follows: "There lived, a long time ago, an old man
and his wife, who had three daughters and one son-in-law. One day, as
the mother was cooking some meat, she threw a clot of blood into the pot
containing the meat. The pot began to boil, and then there issued from
it a peculiar hissing noise. The old woman looked into the pot, and was
surprised to see that the blood-clot had become transformed into a
little boy. Quickly he grew, and, in a few moments, he sprang from the
pot, a full-grown young man." Kûtoyîs, as the youth was named, became an
expert hunter, and kept the family in food. He also killed his lazy and
quarrelsome brother-in-law, and brought peace to the family. Of Kûtoyïs
it is said he "sought to drive out all the evil in the world, and to
unite the people and make them happy" (480(1893).167).

Concerning the Micmac Indians of Nova Scotia, Mr. Band informs us

"Children exposed or lost by their parents are miraculously preserved.
They grow up suddenly to manhood, and are endowed with superhuman
powers; they become the avengers of the guilty and the protectors of the
good. They drive up the moose and the caribou to their camps, and
slaughter them at their leisure. The elements are under their control;
they can raise the wind, conjure up storms or disperse them, make it hot
or cold, wet or dry, as they please. They can multiply the smallest
amount of food indefinitely, evade the subtlety and rage of their
enemies, kill them miraculously, and raise their slaughtered friends to

A characteristic legend of this nature is the story of
Noojekêsîgünodâsît and the "magic dancing-doll."
Noojekêsîgûnodâsît,--"the sock wringer and dryer," so-called because,
being the youngest of the seven sons of an Indian couple, he had to
wring and dry the moccasin-rags of his elders,--was so persecuted by the
eldest of his brothers, that he determined to run away, and "requests
his mother to make him a small bow and arrow and thirty pairs of
moccasins." He starts out and "shoots the arrow ahead, and runs after
it. In a short time he is able to outrun the arrow and reach the spot
where it is to fall before it strikes the ground. He then takes it up
and shoots again, and flies on swifter than the arrow. Thus he travels
straight ahead, and by night he has gone a long distance from home." His
brother starts in pursuit, but, after a hundred days, returns home
discouraged. Meanwhile, the boy travels on and meets a very old man, who
tells him that the place from whence he came is a long way off, for "I
was a small boy when I started, and since that day I have never halted,
and you see that now I am very old." The boy says, however, that he will
try to reach the place, and, after receiving from the old man a little
box in return for a pair of moccasins,--for those of the traveller were
quite worn out,--he goes his way. By and by the boy's curiosity leads
him to open the box, and

"As soon as he has removed the cover, he starts with an exclamation of
surprise, for he sees a small image, in the form of a man, dancing away
with all his might, and reeking with perspiration from the
long-continued exertion. As soon as the light is let in upon him, he
stops dancing, looks up suddenly, and exclaims, 'Well, what is it? What
is wanted?' The truth now flashes over the boy. This is a supernatural
agent, a _manitoo_, a god, from the spirit world, which can do
anything that he is requested to do." The boy wished "to be transported
to the place from whence the old man came," and, closing the box,
"suddenly his head swims, the darkness comes over him, and he faints.
When he recovers he finds himself near a large Indian village." By the
aid of his doll--_weedapcheejul_, "little comrade," he calls it--he
works wonders, and obtains one of the daughters of the chief as his
wife, and ultimately slays his father-in-law, who is a great
"medicine-man." This story, Mr. Rand says he "wrote down from the mouth
of a Micmac Indian in his own language"; it will bear comparison with
some European folk-tales (521. 7-13).

Another story of boy wonder-working, with some European trappings,
however, is that of "The Boy who was transformed into a Horse." Of this
wonderful infant it is related that "at the age of eighteen months the
child was able to talk, and immediately made inquiries about his elder
brother [whom his father had 'sold to the devil']." The child then
declares his intention of finding his lost brother, and, aided by an
"angel,"--this tale is strangely hybrid,--discovers him in the form of a
horse, restores him to his natural shape, and brings him safely home;
but changes the wicked father into a horse, upon whose back an evil
spirit leaps and runs off with him (521. 31).

Other tales of boy adventure in Dr. Rand's collection are: "The History
of Kïtpooseâgûnow" [i.e. "taken from the side of his mother," as a calf
of a moose or a caribou is after the mother has fallen] (521. 62-80);
"The Infant Magician"; "The Invisible Boy," who could change himself
into a moose, and also become invisible (521. 101-109); "The Badger and
his Little Brother" (521. 263-269), in which the latter helps the former
decoy the water-fowl to destruction, but, repenting at the wanton
slaughter, gives the alarm, and many birds escape; "The Little Boy who
caught a Whale" (521. 280-281). The story of "The Small Baby and the Big
Bird" contains many naïve touches of Indian life. The hero of the tale
is a foundling, discovered in the forest by an old woman, "so small that
she easily hides it in her mitten." Having no milk for the babe, which
she undertakes to care for, the woman "makes a sort of gruel from the
scrapings of the inside of raw-hide, and thus supports and nourishes it,
so that it thrives and does well." By and by he becomes a mighty hunter,
and finally kills the old culloo (giant bird) chief, tames the young
culloo, and discovers his parents (521. 81-93).

In the mythologic tales of the Iroquois, the child appears frequently as
a hero and an adventurer. Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith, in treating of _The
Myths of the Iroquois_ (534), relates the stories of the infant
nursed by bears; the boy whom his grandmother told never to go west, but
who at last started off in that direction, and finally killed the great
frog (into which form the man who had been tormenting them turned
himself); the boy who, after interfering with his uncle's magic wand and
kettle, and thereby depriving the people of corn, set out and managed to
return home with plenty of corn, which he had pilfered from the witches
who guarded it,--all interesting child exploits.

Among the myths of the Cherokees,--a people related in speech to the
Iroquois,--as reported by Mr. James Mooney, we find a story somewhat
similar to the last mentioned,--"Kânátî and Sélu: the Origin of Corn and
Game" (506. 98-105), the heroes of which are _Inage Utasuhi,_ "He
who grew up Wild," a wonderful child, born of the blood of the game
washed in the river; and the little son of Kanati ("the lucky hunter")
and Selu ("Corn," his wife), his playmate, who captures him. The "Wild
Boy" is endowed with magic powers, and leads his "brother" into all
sorts of mischief. They set out to discover where the father gets all
the game he brings home, and, finding that he lifted a rock on the side
of a mountain, allowing the animal he wished to come forth, they
imitated him some days afterwards, and the result was that the deer
escaped from the cave, and "then followed droves of raccoons, rabbits,
and all the other four-footed animals. Last came great flocks of
turkeys, pigeons, and partridges." From their childish glee and
tricksiness the animals appear to have suffered somewhat, for we are
told (506. 100): "In those days all the deer had their tails hanging
down like other animals, but, as a buck was running past, the 'wild boy'
struck its tail with his arrow, so that it stood straight out behind.
This pleased the boys, and when the next one ran by, the other brother
struck his tail so that it pointed upward. The boys thought this was
good sport, and when the next one ran past, the 'wild boy' struck his
tail so that it stood straight up, and his brother struck the next one
so hard with his arrow that the deer's tail was curled over his back.
The boys thought this was very pretty, and ever since the deer has
carried his tail over his back." When Kanati discovered what had
occurred (506. 100), was furious, but, without saying a word, he went
down into the cave and kicked the covers off four jars in one corner,
when out swarmed bedbugs, fleas, lice, and gnats, and got all over the
boys. "After they had been tortured enough, Kanati sent them home,
telling them that, through their folly," whenever they wanted a deer to
eat they would have to hunt all over the woods for it, and then may be
not find one. "When the boys got home, discovering that Selu was a
witch, they killed her and dragged her body about a large piece of
ground in front of the house, and wherever the blood fell Indian corn
sprang up. Kanati then tried to get the wolves to kill the two boys, but
they trapped them in a huge pound, and burned almost all of them to
death. Their father not returning from his visit to the wolves, the boys
set out in search of him, and, after some days, found him. After killing
a fierce panther in a swamp, and exterminating a tribe of cannibals, who
sought to boil the "wild boy" in a pot, they kept on and soon lost sight
of their father." At "the end of the world, where the sun comes out,"
they waited "until the sky went up again" [in Cherokee cosmogony "the
earth is a flat surface, and the sky is an arch of solid rock suspended
above it. This arch rises and falls continually, so that the space at
the point of juncture is constantly opening and closing, like a pair of
scissors"], and then "they went through and climbed up on the other
side." Here they met Kanati and Selu, but, after staying with them seven
days, had to "go toward the sunset land, where they are still living."

Dr. G. M. Dawson records, from the Shushwap Indians of British Columbia,
the story of an old woman,--husbandless, childless, companionless,--who,
"for the sake of companionship, procured some pitch and shaped from it
the figure of a girl, which became her daughter," whom many adventures
befell (425. 33).

There is a very interesting Tahitian myth telling of the descent of
little Tavai to the invisible world. Tavai was his mother's pet, and one
day, for some slight fault, was beaten by the relatives of his father.
This made Ouri, his mother, so angry, that Oema, her husband, out of
shame, went down to Hawaii, the under-world, whither Tavai, accompanied
by his elder brother, journeyed, and, after many adventures, succeeded
in bringing to their mother the bones of Oema, who had long been dead
when they found him (458. 250).

Legion in number and world-wide in their affiliations are the stories of
the visits of children and youths, boys and girls, to heaven, to the
nether-world, to the country of the fairies, and to other strange and
far-off lands, inhabited by elves, dwarfs, pigmies, giants, "black
spirits and white." Countless are the variants of the familiar tale of
"Jack and the Bean Stalk," "Jack, the Giant-Killer," and many another
favourite of the nursery and the schoolroom. Tylor, Lang, Clouston, and
Hartland have collated and interpreted many of these, and the books of
fairy-tales and kindred lore are now numbered by the hundred, as may be
seen from the list given by Mr. Hartland in the appendix to his work on
fairy-tales. Grimm, Andersen, and the _Arabian Nights_ have become
household names.

For children to speak before they are born is a phenomenon of frequent
occurrence in the lives of saints and the myths of savage peoples,
especially when the child about to come into the world is an incarnation
of some deity. Of Gluskap, the Micmac culture-hero, and Malumsis, the
Wolf, his bad brother, we read (488. 15,16):--

"Before they were born, the babes consulted to consider how they had
best enter the world. And Glooskap said: 'I will be born as others are.'
But the evil Malumsis thought himself too great to be brought forth in
such a manner, and declared that he would burst through his mother's
side. And, as they planned it, so it came to pass. Glooskap as first
came quietly to light, while Malumsis kept his word, killing his
mother." Another version of the same story runs: "In the old time, far
before men knew themselves in the light before the sun, Glooskap and his
brother were as yet unborn. They waited for the day to appear. Then they
talked together, and the youngest said: 'Why should I wait? I will go
into the world and begin my life at once;' when the elder said: 'Not so,
for this were a great evil.' But the younger gave no heed to any wisdom;
in his wickedness he broke through his mother's side, he rent the wall;
his beginning of life was his mother's death" (488. 106). Very similar
is the Iroquois myth of the "Good Mind" and the "Bad Mind," and variants
of this American hero-myth may be read in the exhaustive treatise of Dr.

Very interesting is the Maya story of the twins Hun-Ahpu and Xbalanque,
sons of the virgin Xquiq, who, fleeing from her father, escaped to the
upper world, where the birth took place. Of these children we are told
"they grew in strength, and performed various deeds of prowess, which
are related at length in the Popul Vuh [the folk-chronicle of the
Quiches of Guatemala], and were at last invited by the lords of the
underworld to visit them." The chiefs of the underworld intended to slay
the youths, as they had previously slain their father and uncle, but
through their oracular and magic power the two brothers pretended to be
burned, and, when their ashes were thrown into the river, they rose from
its waters and slew the lords of the nether world. At this the
inhabitants of Hades fled in terror and the twins "released the
prisoners and restored to life those who had been slain. The latter rose
to the sky to become the countless stars, while Hunhun-Ahpu and
Vukub-Hun-Ahpu [father and uncle of the twins] ascended to dwell, the
one in the sun, the other in the moon" (411. 124).

Born of a virgin mother were also Quetzalcoatl, the culture-hero of
Mexico, and other similar characters whose lives and deeds may be read
in Dr. Brinton's _American Hero-Myths_.

From the Indians of the Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico, Dr. A. S. Gatschet
has obtained the story of the "Antelope-Boy," who, as the champion of
the White Pueblo, defeated the Plawk, the champion of the Yellow Pueblo,
in a race around the horizon. The "Antelope-Boy" was a babe who had been
left on the prairie by its uncle, and brought up by a female antelope
who discovered it. After some trouble, the people succeeded in catching
him and restoring him to his mother. Another version of the same tale
has it that "the boy-child, left by his uncle and mother upon the
prairie, was carried to the antelopes by a coyote, after which a
mother-antelope, who had lost her fawn, adopted the tiny stranger as her
own. By an ingenious act of the mother-antelope the boy was surrendered
again to his real human mother; for when the circle of the hunters grew
smaller around the herd, the antelope took the boy to the northeast,
where his mother stood in a white robe. At last these two were the only
ones left within the circle, and when the antelope broke through the
line on the northeast, the boy followed her and fell at the feet of his
own human mother, who sprang forward and clasped him in her arms." The
Yellow Pueblo people were wizards, and so confident were they of success
that they proposed that the losing party, their villages, property,
etc., should be burnt. The White Pueblo people agreed, and, having won
the victory, proceeded to exterminate the conquered. One of the wizards,
however, managed to hide away and escape being burned, and this is why
there are wizards living at this very day (239. 213, 217).

In the beginning, says the Zuni account of the coming of men upon earth,
they dwelt in the lowermost of four subterranean caverns, called the
"Four Wombs of the World," and as they began to increase in numbers they
became very unhappy, and the children of the wise men among them
besought them to deliver them from such a life of misery. Then, it is
said, "The 'Holder of the Paths of Life,' the Sun-Father, created from
his own being two children, who fell to earth for the good of all
beings. The Sun-Father endowed these children with immortal youth, with
power even as his own power, and created for them a bow (the Rainbow)
and an arrow (the Lightning). For them he made also a shield like unto
his own, of magic power, and a knife of flint.... These children cut the
face of the world with their magic knife, and were borne down upon their
shield into the caverns in which all men dwelt. There, as the leaders of
men, they lived with their children, mankind." They afterwards led men
into the second cavern, then into the third, and finally into the
fourth, whence they made their way, guided by the two children, to the
world of earth, which, having been covered with water, was damp and
unstable and filled with huge monsters and beasts of prey. The two
children continued to lead men "Eastward, toward the Home of the
Sun-Father," and by their magic power, acting under the directions of
their creator, the Sun-Father, they caused the surface of the earth to
harden and petrified the fierce animals who sought to destroy the
children of men (which accounts for the fossils of to-day and the
animal-like forms of rocks and boulders) (424. 13). Of this people it
could have been said most appropriately, "a little child shall lead

Mr. Lummis' volume of folk-tales of the Pueblos Indians of New Mexico
contains many stories of the boy as hero and adventurer. The
"Antelope-Boy" who defeats the champion of the witches in a foot-race
(302. 12-21); Nah-chu-ru-chu (the "Bluish Light of the Dawn"), the
parentless hero, "wise in medicine," who married the moon, lost her, but
found her again after great trouble (302. 53-70); the boy who cursed the
lake (302. 108-121); the boy and the eagle, etc. (302. 122-126). But the
great figures in story at the Pueblo of Queres are the "hero-twins,"
Maw-Sahv and Oo-yah-wee, sons of the Sun, wonderful and astonishing
children, of whom it is said that "as soon as they were a minute old,
they were big and strong and began playing" (302. 207). Their mother
died when they were born, but was restored to life by the Crow-Mother,
and returned home with her two children, whose hero-deeds, "at an age
when other boys were toddling about the house," were the cause of
infinite wonder. They killed the Giant-Woman and the Giant-Baby, and
performed unnumbered other acts of heroism while yet in childhood and
youth. To the same cycle seems to belong also the story of "The Magic
Hide-and-Seek" (302.87-98).

From the Pueblo of Sia, Mrs. Stevenson has recorded the story of the
twins Ma'asewe and U'yuuyewe, sons of the Sun-Father by the virgin
Ko'chinako; how they visited their father, and the adventures that
befell them on their long journey; how they killed the wolf of the lake,
the cougar, the bear, the bad eagles, burned the cruel witch, and other
great enemies of the people, organized the cult societies, and then
"made their home in the Sandia Mountain, where they have since
remained." At the entrance to the crater, we are told, "the diminutive
footprints of these boys are yet to be seen by the good of heart" (538.
43-57). Among the American Indians it is difficult, if not impossible,
to distinguish the child-hero from the divinity whom he so often closely



  Childhood shall be all divine.--_Proctor_.

  A baby's feet, like sea-shells pink,
    Might tempt, should Heaven see meet,
  An angel's lips to kiss.--_Swinburne_.

  Their glance might cast out pain and sin,
    Their speech make dumb the wise,
  By mute glad godhead felt within
    A baby's eyes.--_Swinburne_.

_The Child as Fetich._

It is easy to understand how, among barbarous or semi-civilized peoples,
children born deformed or with any strange marking or defect should be
looked upon as objects of fear or reverence, fetiches in fact. Post
informs us regarding certain African tribes (127. I. 285, 286):--

"The Wanika, Wakikuyu, and Wazegua kill deformed children; throttle them
in the woods and bury them. The belief is, that the evil spirit of a
dead person has got into them, and such a child would be a great
criminal. The Somali let misformed children live, but regard them with
superstitious fear. In Angola all children born deformed are considered
'fetich.' In Loango dwarfs and albinos are regarded as the property of
the king, and are looked upon as sacred and inviolable."

Here we see at least some of the reasons which have led up to the eulogy
and laudation, as well as to the dread suspicion, of the dwarf and the
hunchback, appearing in so many folk-tales. We might find also, perhaps,
some dim conception of the occasional simultaneity of genius with
physical defects or deformities, a fact of which a certain modern school
of criminal sociologists has made so much.

Concerning albinos Schultze says (529. 82):--

"In Borneo albinos are objects of fear, as beings gifted with
supernatural power; in Senegambia, if they are slaves, they are given
their freedom, are exempted from all labour, and are cheerfully
supported at others' expense. In Congo the king keeps them in his palace
as 'fetiches which give him influence over the Europeans.' They are held
in such respect that they may take whatever they will; and he who is
deprived of his property by them, esteems himself honoured. In Loango
they are esteemed above the Gangas (priests), and their hair is sold at
a high price as a holy relic. Thus may a man become a fetich." At Moree,
in West Africa, Ellis informs us, "Albinos are sacred to Aynfwa, and, on
arriving at puberty, become her priests and priestesses. They are
regarded by the people as the mouth-pieces of the goddess." At Coomassie
a boy-prisoner was painted white and consecrated as a slave to the
tutelary deity of the market (438. 49, 88). Coeval with their revival of
primitive language-moulds in their slang, many of our college societies
and sporting clubs and associations have revived the beliefs just
mentioned in their mascots and luck-bringers--the other side of the
shield showing the "Jonahs" and those fetiches of evil import. Even
great actors, stock-brokers, and politicians have their mascots. We hear
also of mascots of regiments and of ships. A little hunchback, a dwarf,
a negro boy, an Italian singing-girl, a child dressed in a certain style
or colour, all serve as mascots. Criminals and gamblers, those members
of the community most nearly allied in thought and action with barbarous
and primitive man, have their mascots, and it is from this source that
we derive the word, which Andran, in his opera _La Mascotte_, has
lifted to a somewhat higher plane, and now each family may have a
mascot, a fetich, to cause them to prosper and succeed in life (390
(1888). 111, 112).

One of the derivations suggested for this word, viz. from _masque_
= _coiffe_, in the expression _ne coiffe_, "born with a caul,"
would make the _mascot_ to have been originally a child born with
the caul on its head, a circumstance which, as the French phrase _etre
ne coiffe_, "to be born lucky," indicates, betokened happiness and
good-fortune for the being thus coming into the world. In German the
caul is termed "Glückshaube," "lucky hood," and Ploss gives many
illustrations of the widespread belief in the luck that falls to the
share of the child born with one. A very curious custom exists in
Oldenburg, where a boy, in order to be fortunate in love, carries his
caul about with him (326. I. 12-14). Other accidents or incidents of
birth have sufficed to make fetiches of children. Twins and triplets are
regarded in many parts of the world as smacking of the supernatural and
uncanny. The various views of the races of mankind upon this subject are
given at length in Ploss (326. II. 267-275), and Post has much to say of
the treatment of twins in Africa. In Unyoro twins are looked upon as
"luck-bringers, not only for the family, but for the whole village as
well. Great feasts are held in their honour, and if they die, the house
in which they were born is burned down." Among the Ishogo, from fear
that one of the pair may die, twins are practically isolated and
_taboo_ until grown up (127. I. 282, 284).

To the Ovaherero, according to Ploss, "the birth of twins is the
greatest piece of good-fortune that can fall to the lot of mortals," and
such an event makes the parents "holy." Among this Kaffir people,
moreover: "Every father of twins has the right to act as substitute for
the village-chief in the exercise of his priestly functions. If the
chief is not present, he can, for example, exorcise a sick person. Even
the twin-child himself has all priestly privileges. For a twin boy there
is no forbidden flesh, no forbidden milk, and no one would ever venture
to curse him. If any one should kill a twin-child, the murderer's whole
village would be destroyed. As a twin-boy, he inherits the priestly
dignity at the death of the chief, and even when an older brother
succeeds the father as possessor of the village, it is, however, named
after the younger twin-brother, who is clothed with the priestly
dignity" (326. II. 271-274).

Among the Songish Indians of Vancouver Island, it is believed that
"twins, immediately after their birth, possess supernatural powers. They
are at once taken to the woods and washed in a pond in order to become
ordinary men." The Shushwap Indians believe that twins retain this
supernatural power throughout their lives (404. 22, 92).

Of children whose upper teeth break out before the lower, some primitive
tribes are in fear and dread, hastening to kill them, as do the Basutos,
Wakikuyu, Wanika, Wazegua, and Wasawahili. Among the Wazaramo, another
African people, such children "are either put to death, given away, or
sold to a slave-holder, for the belief is that through them sickness,
misfortune, and death would enter the house." The Arabs of Zanzibar,
"after reading from the Koran, administer to such a child an oath that
it will do no harm, making it nod assent with its head" (127. I. 287).

From what has preceded, we can see how hard it is sometimes to draw the
line between the man as fetich and the priest, between the divinity and
the medicine-man.

_Fetiches of Criminals._

It is a curious fact that St. Nicholas is at once the patron saint of
children and of thieves,--the latter even Shakespeare calls "St.
Nicholas's clerks." And with robbers and the generality of evil-doers
the child, dead or alive, is much of a fetich. Anstey's _Burglar
Bill_ is humorously exaggerated, but there is a good deal of
superstition about childhood lingering in the mind of the lawbreaker.
Strack (361) has discussed at considerable length the child (dead) as
fetich among the criminal classes, especially the use made of the blood,
the hand, the heart, etc. Among the thieving fraternity in Middle
Franconia it is believed that "blood taken up from the genitals of an
innocent boy on three pieces of wood, and carried about the person,
renders one invisible when stealing" (361. 41). The same power was
ascribed to the eating of the hearts (raw) of unborn children cut out of
the womb of the mother. Male children only would serve, and from the
confession of the band of the robber-chief "King Daniel," who so
terrified all Ermeland in the middle of the seventeenth century, it
would appear that they had already killed for this purpose no fewer than
fourteen women with child (361. 59). As late as 1815, at Heide in
Northditmarsch, one Claus Dau was executed for "having killed three
children and eaten their hearts with the belief of making himself
invisible" (361. 61).

This eating of little children's hearts was thought not alone to confer
the gift of invisibility, but "when portions of nine hearts had been
eaten by any one, he could not be seized, no matter what theft or crime
he committed, and, if by chance he should fall into the power of his
enemies, he could make himself invisible and thus escape." The eating of
three hearts is credited with the same power in an account of a robber
of the Lower Rhine, in 1645. In the middle of the last century, there
was executed at Bayreuth a man "who had killed eight women with child,
cut them open, and eaten the warm, palpitating hearts of the children,
in the belief that he would be able to fly, if he ate the hearts of nine
such children" (361. 58).

Only a few years ago (April, 1888), at Oldenburg, a workman named
Bliefernicht was tried for having killed two girls, aged six and seven
years. The examination of the remains showed that "one of the bodies not
only had the neck completely cut through, but the belly cut open, so
that the entrails, lungs, and liver were exposed. A large piece of flesh
had been cut out of the buttocks and was nowhere to be found, the man
having eaten it. His belief was, that whoever ate of the flesh of
innocent girls, could do anything in the world without any one being
able to make him answer for it" (361. 62).

Strack has much to say of the _main-de-gloire_ and the _chandelle
magique._ Widespread among thieves is the belief in the "magic
taper." At Meesow, in the Regenwald district of Pomerania, these tapers
are made of the entrails of unborn children, can only be extinguished
with milk, and, as long as they burn, no one in the house to be robbed
is able to wake. It is of the hands, however, of unbaptized or unborn
children that these tapers were most frequently made. At Nürnberg, in
1577 and 1701, there were executed two monsters who killed many women in
their pursuit for this fetich; at Vechta, in Oldenburg, the finger of an
unborn child "serves with thieves to keep asleep the people of the house
they have entered, if it is simply laid on the table"; at Konow, the fat
of a woman with child is used to make a similar taper. In the Ukrain
district of Poland, it is believed that the hand of the corpse of a
five-year-old child opens all locks (361. 42). This belief in the
_hand-of-glory_ and the _magic candle_ may be due to the fact
that such children, being unbaptized and unborn, were presumed to be
under the influence of the Evil One himself. Of the wider belief in the
_chandelle magique_ and _main-de-gloire_ (as obtained from
criminal adults) in Germany, France, Spain, etc., nothing need be said

At Konow, in the Kammin district of Pomerania, "if a thief takes an
unborn child, dries it, puts it in a little wooden box, and carries it
on his person, he is rendered invisible to everybody, and can steal at
will" (361. 41).

The history of the robbers of the Rhine and the Main, of Westphalia, the
Mark, and Silesia, with whom the child appears so often as a fetich,
evince a bestiality and inhumanity almost beyond the power of belief.


But it is not to the criminal classes alone that superstitions of this
nature belong. Of the alchemy, magic, black art, sorcery, and
"philosophy" of the Dark Ages of Europe, the practice of which lingered
in some places well on into the seventeenth century, horrible stories
are told, in which children, their bodies, their souls even, appear as
fetishes. The baptism of blood is said still to be practised in parts of
Russia by parents "to preserve their child from the temptations of the
prince of darkness," and in 1874, "a country-school teacher of the
Strassburg district, and his wife, upon the advice of a somnambulist,
struck their own aunt with the fire-tongs until the blood flowed, with
which they sprinkled their child supposed to have been bewitched by her"
(361. 73). Here it is the blood of adults that is used, but the practice
demands the child's also. According to C. F. A. Hoffmann (1817), there
lived in Naples "an old doctor who had children by several women, which
he inhumanly killed, with peculiar ceremonies and rites, cutting the
breast open, tearing out the heart, and from its blood preparing
precious drops which were preservative against all sickness." Well known
is the story of Elizabeth Bathori, a Hungarian woman of the early part
of the seventeenth century, who, it is said, receiving on her face a
drop of blood which spurted from a waiting-girl whose ears she had
severely boxed, and noticing afterward, when she wiped it away, that her
skin at that spot appeared to be more beautiful, whiter, and finer than
before, resolved to bathe her face and her whole body in human blood, in
order to increase her charms and her beauty. Before her monstrous
actions were discovered, she is thought to have caused the death of some
650 girls with the aid of accomplices (361. 46).

_Fetiches of Religion._

The use of human blood in ritual has been treated of in detail by
Strack, and in his pages many references to children will be found. He
also discusses in detail the charge of the Anti-Semitics that the Jews
kill little children of their Christian neighbours for the purpose of
using their blood and certain parts of their bodies in religious rites
and ceremonies, showing alike the antiquity of this libel as well as its
baselessness. Against the early Christians like charges appear to have
been made by the heathen, and later on by the Saracens; and indeed, this
charge is one which is generally levelled at new-comers or innovators in
the early history of Christian religion and civilization. Strack points
out also that, during the contest of the Dominicans and Franciscans in
Bern, in 1507 A.D., it was charged that the former used the blood of
Jewish children, the eyebrows and hair of children, etc., in their
secret rites (361. 68, 69).

Brewer, who gives little credit to the stories, cites the account of
numerous crucifixions of children alleged to have been carried out by
Jews in various parts of Europe, for the purpose of using their flesh
and blood in their rituals, or merely out of hatred to the Christian
religion. The principal cases are: Andrew of Innspruck; Albert of
Swirnazen in Podolia, aged four (1598); St. Hugh of Lincoln, aged eleven
(1255); St. Janot of Cologne (1475); St. Michael of Sappendelf in
Bavaria, aged four and one-half (1340); St. Richard of Pontoise, aged
twelve (1182); St. Simon of Trent, aged twenty-nine months and three
days (1475); St. William of Norwich, aged twelve (1137); St. Wernier
(Garnier), aged thirteen (1227). The _Acta Sanctorum_ of the
Bollandists give a long list of nameless children, who are claimed to
have suffered a like fate in Spain, France, Hungary, Austria, Germany,
Italy, etc. The later charges, such as those made in the celebrated case
of the girl Esther Solymasi, whose death was alleged to have been
brought about by the Jews of Tisza-Eszlar in Hungary, in 1882, are
investigated by Strack, and shown to be utterly without foundation of
fact, merely the product of frenzied Anti-Semitism (191. 171-175).

The use of blood and the sacrifice of little children, as well as other
fetichistic practices, have been charged against some of the secret
religious sects of modern Russia.

_Dead Children._

In Annam the natives "surround the beds of their children suffering from
small-pox with nets, and never leave them alone, fearing lest a demon,
in the form of a strange child, should sneak in and take possession of
them" (397. 169, 242). This belief is akin with the widespread
superstitions with respect to changelings and other metamorphoses of
childhood, to the discussion of which Ploss and Hartland have devoted
much space and attention, the latter, indeed, setting apart some forty
pages of his book on fairy-tales to the subject.

In Devonshire, England, it was formerly believed lucky to put a
stillborn child into an open grave, "as it was considered a sure
passport to heaven for the next person buried there." In the Border
country, on the other hand, it is unlucky to tread on the graves of
unbaptized children, and "he who steps on the grave of a stillborn or
unbaptized child, or of one who has been overlaid by its nurse, subjects
himself to the fatal disease of the grave-merels, or grave-scab." In
connection with this belief, Henderson cites the following popular
verses, of considerable antiquity:--

 "Woe to the babie that ne'er saw the sun,
    All alane and alane, oh!
  His bodie shall lie in the kirk 'neath the rain,
    All alane and alane, oh!

 "His grave must be dug at the foot o' the wall,
    All alane and alane, oh!
  And the foot that treadeth his body upon
    Shall have scab that will eat to the bane, oh!

 "And it ne'er will be cured by doctor on earth,
    Tho' every one should tent him, oh!
  He shall tremble and die like the elf-shot eye,
    And return from whence he came, oh!" (469. 13).

Among the natives of the Andaman Islands, after a dead child has been
buried and the parents have mourned for about three months, the remains
are exhumed, cleansed at the seashore by the father, and brought back to
the hut, where the bones are broken up to make necklaces, which are
distributed to friends and relatives as mementos. Moreover, "the mother,
after painting the skull with _kòi-ob_--[a mixture of yellow ochre,
oil, etc.] and decorating it with small shells attached to pieces of
string, hangs it round her neck with a netted chain, called
_râb--._ After the first few days her husband often relieves her by
wearing it himself" (498. 74,75).

According to Lumholtz, "a kind of mummy, dried by the aid of fire and
smoke, is also found in Australia. Male children are most frequently
prepared in this manner. The corpse is then packed into a bundle, which
is carried for some time by the mother. She has it with her constantly,
and at night sleeps with it at her side. After about six months, when
nothing but the bones remain, she buries it in the earth. Full-grown men
are sometimes treated in this manner, particularly the bodies of great
heroes" (495. 278).

Among the western Eskimo, "the mother who loses her nursling places the
poor 'papoose' in a beautifully ornamented box, which she fastens on her
back and carries about her for a long while. Often she takes the
miserable mummy in her arms and makes it a kind of toilette,
disinfecting it, and removing the mouldiness" (523. 102).

According to the traveller Lander, a woman of Yoruba, in Africa,
"carries for some time a wooden figure of her lost child, and, when she
eats, puts part of her food to its lips"; and Catlin writes of the
Mandan Indians: "They place the skulls of their dead in a circle. Each
wife knows the skull of her former husband or child, and there seldom
passes a day that she does not visit it with a dish of the best cooked
food ... There is scarcely an hour in a pleasant day, but more or less
of these women may be seen sitting or lying by the skull of their dead
child or husband, talking to it in the most pleasant and endearing
language they can use (as they were wont to do in former days), and
seemingly getting an answer back" (Spencer, _Princ. of Soc.,_ 1882,
I. 332, 326).

Of the Nishinam Indians of California, Mr. Powers tells us: "When a
Nishinam wife is childless, her sympathizing female friends sometimes
make out of grass a rude image of a baby, and tie it in a miniature
baby-basket, according to the Indian custom. Some day, when the woman
and her husband are not at home, they carry this grass baby and lay it
in their wigwam. When she returns and finds it, she takes it up, holds
it to her breast, pretends to nurse it, and sings it lullaby songs. All
this is done as a kind of conjuration, which they hope will have the
effect of causing the barren woman to become fertile" (519. 318).

Of certain Indians of the northern United States we read, in the early
years of the present century: "The traders on the river St. Peter's,
Mississippi, report that some of them have seen in the possession of the
Indians a petrified child, which they have often wished to purchase; but
the savages regard it as a deity, and no inducement could bribe them to
part with it" (_Philos. Mag._ XXIX., p. 5).


As Count D'Alviella has pointed out, we have in the apocryphal book of
the _Wisdom of Solomon_ the following interesting passage: "For a
father afflicted with untimely mourning, when he hath made an image of
his child soon taken away, now honoured him as a god, which was then a
dead man; and delivered to those that were under him ceremonies and

Mrs. Stevenson, in a Zuñi tale of motherly affection, relates how, in
crossing a river in the olden time, the children clinging to their
mothers were transformed into such ugly and mischievous shapes that the
latter let many of them fall into the river. Some held their children
close, and on the other side these were restored to their natural forms.
Those who had lost their children grieved and would not be comforted; so
two twin-brothers--sons of the sun, they are called--went beneath the
waters of a lake to the dwelling of the children, who asked them to tell
how it fared with their mothers. Their visitors told them of the grief
and sorrow of the parents, whereupon the children said: "Tell our
mothers we are not dead, but live and sing in this beautiful place,
which is the home for them when they sleep. They will wake here and be
always happy. And we are here to intercede with the sun, our father,
that he may give to our people rain and the fruits of the earth, and all
that is good for them." Since that time these children have been
"worshipped as ancestral gods, bearing the name of kok-ko" (358. 541).
This reminds us strikingly of the great Redeemer, of whom it was said
that he is "an Advocate for us with the Father," and who himself
declared: "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I
would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you."

In not a few mythologies we meet with the infant god in the arms of its
mother or of some other woman. Of the goddess of pity in the Celestial
Empire we read: "The Chinese Lady of Mercy in her statues is invariably
depicted as young, symmetrical, and beautiful. Sometimes she stands or
sits alone. Sometimes she holds an infant god in her lap. Sometimes she
holds one, while a second plays about her knee. Another favourite
picture and statue represents her standing on the head of a great
serpent, with a halo about her face and brows, and spirits encircling
her. In the sixth, she stands upon a crescent, awaiting a bird
approaching her from the skies. In a seventh, she stands smiling at a
beautiful child on the back of a water-buffalo. In an eighth, she is
weeping for the sins of either humanity or the female portion of it. She
is the patron saint of all her sex, and intercedes for them at the great
throne of Heaven. She is a very old divinity. The Chinese themselves
claim that she was worshipped six thousand years ago, and that she was
the first deity made known to mankind. The brave Jesuit missionaries
found her there, and it matters not her age; she is a credit to herself
and her sex, and aids in cheering the sorrowful and sombre lives of
millions in the far East." We also find "the saintly infant Zen-zai, so
often met with in the arms of female representations of the androgynous

Mr. C. N. Scott, in his essay on the "Child-God in Art" (344), is
hesitant to give to many mythologies any real child-worship or artistic
concept of the child as god. Not even Rama and Krishna, or the Greek
Eros, who had a sanctuary at Thespiae in Boeotia, are beautiful, sweet,
naive child-pictures; much less even is Hercules, the infant, strangling
the serpents, or Mercury running off with the oxen of Admetus, or
bacchic Dionysus. In Egypt, in the eleventh, or twelfth dynasty, we do
find a family of gods, the triad, father (Amun), mother (Maut), child
(Khuns). Mr. Scott follows Ruskin in declaring that classic Greek art
gives no real child-concept; nor does Gothic art up to the thirteenth
century, when the influence of Christianity made itself felt, that
influence which made art lavish its genius upon the Madonna and the
Santo Bambino--the Virgin and the Christ-Child.



The holy thing that is to be born shall be called the Son of
God.--_Luke_ i. 35. There is born to you this day in the city of
David a Saviour, which is anointed Lord.--_Luke_ ii. 11.

  Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
  Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.--_Richard Crashaw._

  Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
  Can in his swaddling hands control the damnèd crew.--_Milton._

  The heart of Nature feels the touch of Love;
  And Angels sing:
  "The Child is King!
  See in his heart the life we live above."--_E. P. Gould._

During the nineteen centuries that have elapsed since Jesus of Nazareth
was born, art and music, eloquence and song, have expended their best
talents in preserving forever to us some memories of the life and deeds
of Him whose religion of love is winning the world. The treasures of
intellectual genius have been lavished in the interpretation and
promulgation of the faith that bears his name. At his shrine have
worshipped the great and good of every land, and his name has penetrated
to the uttermost ends of the earth.

But in the brief record of his history that has come down to us, we
read: "The common people heard him gladly"; and to these, his simple
life, with its noble consecration and unselfish aims, appealed
immeasurably more even than to the greatest and wisest of men. This is
evident from a glance into the lore that has grown up among the folk
regarding the birth, life, and death of the Christ. Those legends and
beliefs alone concern us here which cluster round his childhood,--the
tribute of the lowly and the unlearned to the great world-child, who was
to usher in the Age of Gold, to him whom they deemed Son of God and Son
of Man, divinely human, humanly divine.

_Nature and the Christ-Birth._

The old heathen mythologies and the lore of the ruder races of our own
day abound in tales of the strange and wonderful events that happened
during the birth, passion, and death of their heroes and divinities.
Europe, Africa, Asia, America, and the Isles of the Sea, bring us a vast
store of folk-thought telling of the sympathy of Mother Nature with her
children; how she mourned when they were sad or afflicted, rejoiced when
they were fortunate and happy. And so has it been, in later ages and
among more civilized peoples, with the great good who have made their
influence felt in the world,--the poets, musicians, artists, seers,
geniuses of every kind, who learned to read some of the secrets of the
universe and declared them unto men. They were a part of Nature herself,
and she heralded their coming graciously and wept over them when they
died. This deep feeling of kinship with all Nature pervades the writings
of many of our greatest poets, who "live not in themselves," but are
become "a portion of that around them." In the beautiful words of

 "Call it not vain; they do not err
  Who say, that, when the poet dies,
  Mute Nature mourns her worshipper,
  And celebrates his obsequies;
  Who say, tall cliff, and cavern lone,
  For the departed bard make moan;
  That mountains weep in crystal rill;
  That flowers in tears of balm distil;
  Through his loved groves the breezes sigh,
  And oaks, in deeper groan, reply;
  And rivers teach their rushing wave
  To murmur dirges round his grave."

And with a holier fervour, even, are all things animate and inanimate
said to feel the birth of a great poet, a hero, a genius, a prophet; all
Nature thrills with joy at his advent and makes known her satisfaction
with the good that has fallen to the lot of earth. With such men, as
Goethe said, Nature is in eternal league, watching, waiting for their

How Nature must have rejoiced on that auspicious day, nineteen centuries
ago, when the Messiah, long looked for, long expected, came! The sacred
historians tell us that the carol of angels heralded his birth and the
bright star in the East led the wise men to the modest manger where he
lay. Never had there been such gladness abroad in the world since

  "The morning stars sang together,
  And all the sons of God shouted for joy."

Shakespeare, in _Hamlet,_--a play in which so many items of
folk-lore are to be found,--makes Marcellus say:--

 "It faded on the crowing of the cock.
  Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
  Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
  The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
  And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
  The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
  No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
  So hallow'd and so gracious is the time,"

to which Horatio replies:--

  "So have I heard, and do in part believe it."

This belief in the holy and gracious season of the birth of Christ,--a
return to the old ideas of the Golden Age and the kinship of all
Nature,--finds briefest expression in the Montenegrin saying of
Christmas Eve: "To-night, Earth is blended with Paradise." According to
Bosnian legend, at the birth of Christ: "The sun in the East bowed down,
the stars stood still, the mountains and the forests shook and touched
the earth with their summits, and the green pine tree bent; heaven and
earth were bowed." And when Simeon took the Holy Child from the mother's

"The sun leaped in the heavens and the stars around it danced. A peace
came over mountain and forest. Even the rotten stump stood straight and
healthy on the green mountain-side. The grass was beflowered with
opening blossoms, and incense sweet as myrrh pervaded upland and forest,
and birds sang on the mountain-top, and all gave thanks to the great
God" (_Macmil-lan's Mag.,_ Vol. XLIII, p. 362).

Relics of the same thoughts crop out from a thousand Christmas songs and
carols in every country of Europe, and in myriads of folk-songs and
sayings in every language of the Continent.

And in those southern lands, where, even more than with us, religion and
love are inseparable, the environment of the Christ-birth is transferred
to the beloved of the human heart, and, as the Tuscans sing in their
_stornelli_ (415. 104):--

 "Quando nascesti tu, nacque un bel flore;
  La luna si fermò di camminare,
  Le stelle si cambiaron di colore,"

in Mrs. Busk's translation:--

 "Thy birth, Love, was the birth of a fair flower;
  The moon her course arrested at that hour,
  The stars were then arrayed in a new colour,"

so, in other lands, has the similitude of the Golden Age of Love and the
Golden Time of Christmas been elaborated and adorned by all the genius
of the nameless folk-poets of centuries past.

_Folk-Lore of Christmas Tide._

Scottish folk-lore has it that Christ was born "at the hour of midnight
on Christmas Eve," and that the miracle of turning water into wine was
performed by Him at the same hour (246. 160). There is a belief current
in some parts of Germany that "between eleven and twelve the night
before Christmas water turns to wine"; in other districts, as at
Bielefeld, it is on Christmas night that this change is thought to take
place (462. IV. 1779).

This hour is also auspicious for many actions, and in some sections of
Germany it was thought that if one would go to the cross-roads between
eleven and twelve on Christmas Day, and listen, he "would hear what most
concerns him in the coming year." Another belief is that "if one walks
into the winter-corn on Holy Christmas Eve, he will hear all that will
happen in the village that year."

Christmas Eve or Christmas is the time when the oracles of the folk are
in the best working-order, especially the many processes by which
maidens are wont to discover the colour of their lover's hair, the
beauty of his face and form, his trade and occupation,--whether they
shall marry or not, and the like. The same season is most auspicious for
certain ceremonies and practices (transferred to it from the heathen
antiquity) of the peasantry of Europe in relation to agriculture and
allied industries. Among those noted by Grimm are the following:--

On Christmas Eve thrash the garden with a flail, with only your shirt
on, and the grass will grow well next year.

Tie wet strawbands around the orchard trees on Christmas Eve and it will
make them fruitful.

On Christmas Eve put a stone on every tree, and they will bear the more
(462. IV. 1790-1825).

Beat the trees on Christmas night, and they will bear more fruit (448.

In Herefordshire, Devonshire, and Cornwall, in England, the farmers and
peasantry "salute the apple-trees on Christmas Eve," and in Sussex they
used to "worsle," _i.e._ "wassail," the apple-trees and chant
verses to them in somewhat of the primitive fashion (448. 219).

Some other curious items of Christmas folk-lore are the following,
current chiefly in Germany (462. IV. 1779-1824):--

If after a Christmas dinner you shake out the table-cloth over the bare
ground under the open sky, crumb-wort will grow on the spot.

If on Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, you hang a wash-clout on a hedge,
and then groom the horses with it, they will grow fat.

As often as the cock crows on Christmas Eve, the quarter of corn will be
as dear.

If a dog howls the night before Christmas, it will go mad within the

If the light is let go out on Christmas Eve, some one in the house will

When lights are brought in on Christmas Eve, if any one's shadow has no
head, he will die within a year; if half a head, in the second

If a hoop comes off a cask on Christmas Eve, some one in the house will
die that year.

If on Christmas Eve you make a little heap of salt on the table, and it
melts over night, you will die the next year; if, in the morning, it
remain undiminished, you will live.

If you wear something sewed with thread spun on Christmas Eve, no vermin
will stick to you.

If a shirt be spun, woven, and sewed by a pure, chaste maiden on
Christmas Day, it will be proof against lead or steel.

If you are born at sermon-time on Christmas morning, you can see

If you burn elder on Christmas Eve, you will have revealed to you all
the witches and sorcerers of the neighbourhood (448. 319).

If you steal hay the night before Christmas, and give the cattle some,
they thrive, and you are not caught in any future thefts.

If you steal anything at Christmas without being caught, you can steal
safely for a year.

If you eat no beans on Christmas Eve, you will become an ass.

If you eat a raw egg, fasting, on Christmas morning, you can carry heavy

The crumbs saved up on three Christmas Eves are good to give as physic
to one who is disappointed (462. IV. 1788-1801).

It is unlucky to carry anything forth from the house on Christmas
morning until something has been brought in.

It is unlucky to give a neighbour a live coal to kindle a fire with on
Christmas morning.

If the fire burns brightly on Christmas morning, it betokens prosperity
during the year; if it smoulders, adversity (246. 160).

These, and many other practices, ceremonies, beliefs, and superstitions,
which may be read in Grimm (462), Gregor (246), Henderson (469), De
Gubernatis (427, 428), Ortwein (3l5), Tilte (370), and others who have
written of Christmas, show the importance attached in the folk-mind to
the time of the birth of Christ, and how around it as a centre have
fixed themselves hundreds of the rites and solemnities of passing
heathendom, with its recognition of the kinship of all nature, out of
which grew astrology, magic, and other pseudo-sciences.

_Flowers of the Christ-Child._

Many flowers are believed to have first sprung into being or to have
first burst into blossom at the moment when Christ was born, or very
near that auspicious hour.

The Sicilian children, so Folkard tells us, put pennyroyal in their cots
on Christmas Eve, "under the belief that at the exact hour and minute
when the infant Jesus was born this plant puts forth its blossom."
Another belief is that the blossoming occurs again on Midsummer Night
(448. 492).

In the East the Rose of Jericho is looked upon with favour by women with
child, for "there is a cherished legend that it first blossomed at our
Saviour's birth, closed at the Crucifixion, and opened again at Easter,
whence its name of Resurrection Flower" (448. 528).

Gerarde, the old herbalist, tells us that the black hellebore is called
"Christ's Herb," or "Christmas Herb," because it "flowreth about the
birth of our Lord Jesus Christ" (448. 281).

Certain varieties of the hawthorn also were thought to blossom on
Christmas Day. The celebrated Abbey of Glastonbury in England possessed
such a thorn-tree, said to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of
Arimathea, when he stuck it into the ground, in that part of England,
which he is represented as having converted. The "Glastonbury Thorn" was
long believed to be a convincing witness to the truth of the Gospel by
blossoming without fail every Christmas Day (448. 352, 353).

Many plants, trees, and flowers owe their peculiarities to their
connection with the birth or the childhood of Christ. The
_Ornithogalum umbellatum_ is called the "Star of Bethlehem,"
according to Folkard, because "its white stellate flowers resemble the
pictures of the star that indicated the birth of the Saviour of mankind"
(448. 553). The _Galium verum,_ "Our Lady's Bedstraw," receives its
name from the belief that the manger in which the infant Jesus lay was
filled with this plant (448. 249).

The flight of the Holy Family into Egypt has attracted to it as a centre
a large group of legends belonging to this category, many of which are
to be found in Folkard and Busk.

Of a certain tree, with leaves like the sensitive plant, in Arabia, we
read that this peculiarity arose from the fact that when near the city
of Heliopolis "Joseph led the dromedary that bore the blessed Mother and
her Divine Son, under a neighbouring tree, and as he did so, the green
branches bent over the group, as if paying homage to their Master."

Near Mataria there was said to be a sycamore-tree, called "the Tree of
Jesus and Mary," which gave shelter at nightfall to the Holy Family, and
to this fact the Mohammedans are reported to attribute the great
longevity and verdure of the sycamore (448. 558).

A widespread tradition makes the "Rose of Jericho," called also "St.
Mary's Rose," spring up on every spot where the Holy Family rested on
their way to Egypt. The juniper owes the extraordinary powers with which
it is credited in the popular mind to the fact that it once saved the
life of the Virgin and the infant Christ. The same kind offices have
been attributed to the hazel-tree, the fig, the rosemary, the date-palm,
etc. Among the many legends accounting for the peculiarity of the aspen
there is one, preserved in Germany, which attributes it to the action of
this tree when the Holy Family entered the dense forest in which it
stood (448. 230):--

"As they entered this wilderness, all the trees bowed themselves down in
reverence to the infant God; only the Aspen, in her exceeding pride and
arrogance, refused to acknowledge Him, and stood upright." In
consequence of this "the Holy Child pronounced a curse against her; ...
and, at the sound of His words, the Aspen began to tremble through all
her leaves, and has not ceased to tremble to this day." According to a
Sicilian legend, "the form of a hand is to be seen in the interior of
the fruit of the pine," representing "the hand of Jesus blessing the
tree which had saved Him during the flight into Egypt by screening Him
and His mother from Herod's soldiers" (448. 496).

We have from Rome the following tradition (415. 173):--

"One day the Madonna was carrying the Bambino through a lupine-field,
and the stalks of the lupines rustled so, that she thought it was a
robber coming to kill the Santo Bambino. She turned, and sent a
malediction over the lupine-field, and immediately the lupines all
withered away, and fell flat and dry on the ground, so that she could
see there was no one hidden there. When she saw there was no one hidden
there, she sent a blessing over the lupine-field, and the lupines all
stood straight up again, fair and flourishing, and with ten-fold greater
produce than they had at first." In a Bolognese legend the lupines are
cursed by the Virgin, because, "by the clatter and noise they made,
certain plants of this species drew the attentions of Herod's minions to
the spot where the tired and exhausted travellers had made a brief halt"
(448. 473). Another tradition, found over almost all Italy, says that
when the Holy Family were fleeing from the soldiers of King Herod:--

"The brooms and the chick-peas began to rustle and crackle, and by this
noise betrayed the fugitives. The flax bristled up. Happily for her,
Mary was near a juniper; the hospitable tree opened its branches as arms
and enclosed the Virgin and Child within their folds, affording them a
secure hiding-place. Then the Virgin uttered a malediction against the
brooms and the chick-peas, and ever since that day they have always
rustled and crackled." The story goes on to tell us that the Virgin
"pardoned the flax its weakness, and gave the juniper her blessing,"
which accounts for the use of the latter for Christmas decorations,
--like the holly in England and France (448. 395).

_Birds of the Christ-Child._

Several birds are associated with the infant Christ in the folk-lore of
Europe and the East. In Normandy, the wren is called _Poulette de
Dieu, Oiseau de Dieu,_ "God's Chicken," "God's Bird,"--corresponding
to the old Scotch "Our Lady's Hen,"--because, according to legend, "she
was present at the birth of the Infant Saviour, made her nest in his
cradle, and brought moss and feathers to form a coverlet for the Holy
Child" (539. 35).

A Tyrolian folk-tale informs us that in days of yore the ravens were
"beautiful birds with plumage white as snow, which they kept clean by
constant washing in a certain stream." It happened, once upon a time,
that "the Holy Child, desiring to drink, came to this stream, but the
ravens prevented him by splashing about and befouling the water.
Whereupon he said: 'Ungrateful birds! Proud you may be of your beauty,
but your feathers, now so snowy white, shall become black and remain so
till the judgment day!'" In consequence of their uncharitable action
have the ravens continued black ever since (539. 92).

In his childhood Christ is often represented as playing with the other
little Jewish children. One Sabbath day He and His playmates amused
themselves by making birds out of clay, and after the children had been
playing a while, a Sadducee chanced to pass that way. The story goes on
to tell that "He was very old and very zealous, and he rebuked the
children for spending their Sabbath in so profane an employment. And he
let it not rest at chiding alone, but went to the clay birds and broke
them all, to the great grief of the children. Now, when Christ saw this,
He waved His hands over all the birds He had fashioned, and they became
forthwith alive, and soared up into the heavens" (539. 181). From
Swainson we learn that in the Icelandic version of the legend the birds
are thought to have been the golden plover "whose note 'deerin' sounds
like to the Iceland word 'dyrdhin,' namely 'glory,' for these birds sing
praise to their Lord, for in that He mercifully saved them from the
merciless hand of the Sadducee."

A Danish legend, cited by Swainson, accounts for the peculiar cry of the
lapwing, which sounds like "Klyf ved! klyf ved!" i.e. "Cleave wood!
cleave wood!" as follows (539. 185):--"When our Lord was a wee bairn,
He took a walk out One day, and came to an old crone who was busy
baking. She desired Him to go and split her a little wood for the oven,
and she would give Him a new cake for His trouble. He did as He was bid,
and the old woman went on with her occupation, sundering a very small
portion of the dough for the promised recompense. But when the batch was
drawn, this cake was equally large with the rest. So she took a new
morsel of the dough still less than before, and made and baked another
cake, but with the like result. Hereupon she broke out with 'That's a
vast overmuckle cake for the likes o' you; thee's get thy cake anither
time.' When our Lord saw her evil disposition, His wrath was stirred,
and He said to the woman: 'I split your wood as you asked me, and you
would not so much as give me the little cake you promised me. Now you
shall go and cleave wood, and that, too, as long as the world endures!'
With that he changed her into a weep (_vipa_) [lapwing]."

Among the many legends of Isa, as Jesus is called by the Moslems,
current among the Mohammedan peoples is a variant of the story of the
clay-birds, as follows: "When Isa was seven years old, he and his
companions made images in clay of birds and beasts, and Isa, to show his
superiority, caused his images to fly and walk at his command." Clouston
informs us that this story is also found in the Gospel of the
Pseudo-Matthew, and in that of the Infancy (422. II. 408).

In Champagne, France, legend makes the cuckoo to have issued from a
Christmas log (462. I. 113), and in a Latin poem of the Middle Ages we
are told that "the crossbill hatches its eggs at Christmas and the young
birds fly in full plumage at Easter" (539. 67).


At Christmas certain animals become more human, or express their joy at
the birth of Christ in unmistakable fashion.

There was an old Scottish belief that "at the exact hour of the
Saviour's birth bees in their hive emitted a buzzing sound" (246. 147).
According to a Breton folk-tale the ox and the ass can converse for a
single hour, "between eleven and twelve on Christmas night." At the same
hour, in German folk-lore, all cattle stand up; another version,
however, makes them devoutly kneel (462. IV. 1481).

Among the animals which folk-thought has brought into connection with
the Christ-Child is the horse. A Russian legend tells us that the flesh
of the horse is deemed unclean because "when the infant Saviour was
hidden in the manger, the horse kept eating the hay under which the babe
was concealed, whereas the ox not only would not touch it, but brought
back hay on its horns to replace what the horse had eaten" (520. 334).
From a Spanish-American miracle-play, we learn that the oxen and asses
around the manger kept the little babe warm with their breath. In
Ireland the following folk-beliefs obtain regarding the ass and the

"Joseph and Mary fled into Egypt with the infant Jesus, on an ass. Since
that date the ass has had a cross on its back. This same ass returned to
Nazareth seven years later with them on its back, travelling in the
night, since which time it has been the wisest of all animals; it was
made sure-footed for Christ to ride on his triumphal entry into
Jerusalem, and it remains the most sure-footed of all beasts. The ass
and cow are looked upon as sacred, because these animals breathed upon
the infant Jesus in the manger and kept the child warm. Old women
sprinkle holy water on these animals to drive away disease" (480 (1893)
264). In _I Henry IV._ (Act II. Sc. 4) Falstaff says: "The lion
will not touch the true Prince," and the divinity which hedged about the
princes of human blood was ever present with the son of Joseph and Mary,
whose divinity sprang from a purer, nobler fount than that of weak

_The Holy Family._

We have several word-pictures of the Holy Family from the mouth of the
folk. Among the hymns sung by the Confraternities of the Virgin in
Seville, is one in which occurs the following figure (_Catholic
World,_ XXIV. 19):--

 "Es Maria la nave de gracia,
  San Jose la vela, el Nino el timon;
  Y los remos son las buenas almas
  Que van al Rosario con gran devocion."

  ["Mary is the ship of grace,
  St. Joseph is the sail,
  The Child (Jesus) is the helm,
  And the oars are the pious souls who devoutly pray."]

One of the little Italian songs called _razzi neddu,_ recorded by
Mrs. Busk, is even briefer:--

 "Maruzza lavava,
  Giuseppe stinnia,
  Gesu si stricava
  Ca minna vulia."

  ["Sweet Mary was washing,
  Joseph was hanging out the clothes to dry,
  Jesus was stretching Himself on the ground,
  For so His mother willed."]

A popular Spanish lullaby recorded by De Gubernatis in his great study
of birth customs and usages, runs as follows in translation (500. 310):--

  "The Baby Child of Mary,
  Now cradle He has none;
  His father is a carpenter,
  And he shall make Him one.

  "The Lady, good St. Anna,
  The Lord St. Joachim,
  They rock the Baby's cradle,
  That sleep may come to Him.

  "Then sleep, thou too, my baby,
  My little heart so dear;
  The Virgin is beside thee,
  The Son of God is near."

Among the many versions and variants of the familiar child's prayer,
"Now I lay me down to sleep," cited by the Countess Martinengo-Cesaresco
(500. 202-213), is to be included the following, found among the Greeks
of the Terra d'Otranto, in Italy:--

"I lay me down to sleep in my little bed; I lay me down to sleep with my
Mamma Mary; the Mamma Mary goes hence and leaves me Christ to keep me

Some of the most naïve legends are those which deal with the Child and
His mother in the early years of life. "Our Lady's Thistle" (_Carduus
Marianus_) receives its name "because its green leaves have been
spotted white ever since the milk of the Virgin fell upon it, when she
was nursing Jesus, and endowed it with miraculous virtues." A German
tradition tells the same story of the _Polypodium vulgare_
(Marienmilch), based upon an older legend of the goddess Freia, many of
whose attributes, with the lapse of heathendom, passed over to the
central female figure of Christianity (448. 499). A similar origin of
the white lily from the milk of Juno is given in Greek mythology (462.
IV. 1671).

In Devonshire, the custom of burning a faggot of ash at Christmas, is
traced back to the fact that "the Divine Infant at Bethlehem was first
washed and dressed by a fire of ash-wood" (448. 235).

In Spain the rosemary is believed to blossom on the day of Christ's
passion, and the legend accounting for this tells us that "the Virgin
Mary spread on a shrub of rosemary the underlinen and little frocks of
the infant Jesus." The peasantry believe that rosemary "brings happiness
on those families who employ it in perfuming the house on Christmas
night" (448. 526).

_Joseph and Mary._

The suspicions entertained by Joseph (as indicated in the narrative of
St. Matthew i. 19), when the birth of the child of Mary was first
announced, have found deep expression in folk-thought. According to one
Oriental legend, the infant Christ himself spoke, declaring that "God
had created Him by His word, and chosen Him to be His servant and
prophet" (547. 254).

Another tradition, cited by Folkard, states that (448. 279): "Before the
birth of our Saviour, the Virgin Mary longed extremely to taste of some
tempting cherries which hung upon a tree high above her head; so she
requested Joseph to pluck them. Joseph, however, not caring to take the
trouble, refused to gather the cherries, saying sullenly, 'Let the
father of thy child present thee with the cherries if he will!' No
sooner had these words escaped his lips, than, as if in reproof, the
branch of the cherry-tree bowed spontaneously to the Virgin's hand, and
she gathered its fruit and ate it. Hence the cherry is dedicated to the
Virgin Mary."

In Finland the white side of the flounder "is said to have been caused
by the Virgin Mary's laying her hand upon it," and an Eastern legend
states that "the Angel Gabriel restored a sole to life, to assure the
Virgin Mary of the truth of the miraculous conception." Ralston cites
from the Kherson Government in Russia the following:--

"At the time of the Angelic Salutation, the Blessed Virgin told the
Archangel Gabriel that she would give credit to his words, if a fish,
one side of which had already been eaten, were to come to life again.
That moment the fish came to life, and was put back into the water."
This legend, accounting for the shape of the sole, finds perhaps its
origin in "the old Lithuanian tradition that the Queen of the Baltic Sea
once ate half of it and threw the other half into the sea
again"--another example of the transference of older stories to the
cycle of the Virgin Mary (520. 334).

De Gubernatis records from Andalusia, in Spain, a legend which tells how
the Holy Family, journeying one day, came to an orange-tree guarded by
an eagle. The Virgin "begged of it one of the oranges for the Holy
Child. The eagle miraculously fell asleep, and the Virgin thereupon
plucked not one but three oranges, one of which she gave to the infant
Jesus, another to Joseph, and the third she kept for herself. Then, and
not till then, the eagle that guarded the orange-tree awoke" (448. 478).

A beautiful pendant to this Spanish tale is found in the Roumanian story
cited by Folkard:--

"The infant Jesus, in the arms of the Blessed Virgin, becomes restless,
will not go to sleep, and begins to cry. The Virgin, to calm the Holy
Child, gives Him two apples. The infant throws one upwards and it
becomes the Moon; He then throws the second, and it becomes the Sun.
After this exploit, the Virgin Mary addresses Him and foretells that He
will become the Lord of Heaven" (448.222).

In his recent book on _Childhood in Literature and Art,_ Mr.
Scudder treats of the Christ-Child and the Holy Family in mediaeval and
early Christian art and literature (350. 57-65, 83-99), calling special
attention to a series of twelve prints executed in the Netherlands,
known as _The Infancy of our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ,_
in which we have "a reproduction of the childhood of the Saviour in the
terms of a homely Netherland family life, the naturalistic treatment
diversified by the use of angelic machinery" (350.91).

_Moslem Lore of the Christ._

In the _Toldoth Jesú,_ which Clouston terms "a scurrilous Jewish
'Life of Christ,'"--the Hebrew text with a Latin translation and
explanatory notes, appeared at Leyden in 1705, under the title
_Historiæ Jeschuce Nazareni,_--the many wonders admitted to have
been performed by Christ are ascribed to his "having abstracted from the
Temple the Ineffable Name and concealed it in his thigh,"--an idea
thought to be of Indian origin. Clouston goes so far as to say: "Legends
of the miracles of Isa, son of Maryam, found in the works of Muslim
writers, seem to have been derived from the Kurán, and also from early
Christian, or rather _quasi_-Christian traditions, such as those in
the apocryphal gospels, which are now for the most part traceable to
Buddhist sources." One belief of the Mohammedans was that "the breath of
the Messiah had the virtue of restoring the dead to life" (422. II. 395,
408, 409).

In the first volume of the _Orientalist,_ Muhammed Casim Siddi
Lebbe gives an account of the views of Arabian writers regarding the
Virgin Mary and Jesus. Weil has also devoted a section of his work on
Mussulman legends to "John, Mary, and Christ." When the child Jesus was
born, we are told, the withered trunk of a date tree against which the
Virgin leaned, "blossomed, and its withered branches were covered with
fresh dates," while "a fountain of fresh water gushed forth from the
earth at her feet" (547. 249-264).

_The Christ-Child To-day._

Folk-stories and churchly legends tell us that the Christ-Child still
walks the earth, and appears unto the saints and sinners of this world.

Folkard reports a tradition from the Havel country in North Germany:--

"One Christmas Eve a peasant felt a great desire to eat cabbage and,
having none himself, he slipped into a neighbour's garden to cut some.
Just as he had filled his basket, the Christ-Child rode past on his
white horse, and said: 'Because thou hast stolen on the holy night, thou
shalt immediately sit in the moon with thy basket of cabbage.'" And so,
we are told, "the culprit was immediately wafted up to the moon," and
there he can still be seen as "the man in the moon" (448. 265).

Brewer gives many of the churchly legends in which the Christ-Child
appears to men and women upon earth, either in the arms of the Virgin,
as he came to St. Agnes of Monte Pulciano and to Jeanne Marie de Maille,
or as a glorious child, in which form he appeared alone to St. Alexander
and Quirinus the tribune, in the reign of Hadrian; to St. Andrew
Corsini, to call him to the bishopric of Fiesole; to St. Anthony of
Padua, many times; to St. Cuthbert, to rebuke him (a child of eight
years) for wasting his time in play; to St. Emiliana of Florence, with
the same purpose; to St. Oxanna, and to St. Veronica of Milan (191. 59,
60). Among the rude peasantry of Catholic Europe belief in the
visitations of the Christ-Child lingers, especially at the season of His
birth. With them, as Milton thought,--"Millions of spiritual creatures
walk the earth." Yet not unseen, but seen often of the good and wise,
the simple and innocent, and greatest of these visitants of earth is the
Child Jesus, ever occupied about His Father's business.



1. Be a father to virtue, but a father-in-law to vice.

2. Bread is our father, but _kasha_ [porridge] is our mother.

3. Call not that man wretched, who, whatever ills he suffers, has a
child he loves.--_Southey_.

4. Children suck the mother when they are young, and the father when
they are old.

5. Children see in their parents the past, they again in their children
the future; and if we find more love in parents for their children than
in children for their parents, this is sad and natural. Who does not
fondle his hopes more than his recollections?--_Eötvös_.

6. Choose a good mother's daughter, though her father were the

7. Die Menschheit geben uns Vater und Mutter, die Menschlichkeit aber
gibt uns nur die Erziehung. [Human nature we owe to father and mother,
but humanity to education alone.]--_Weber_.

8. Die Mütter geben uns von Geiste Wärme, und die Väter Licht. [Our
mothers give us warmth of spirit; our fathers, light.]--_Jean

9. Die Mutter sagt es, der Vater glaubt es, ein Narr zweifelt daran.
[The mother says it, the father believes it, the fool doubts

10. Dos est magna parentum Virtus. [The virtue of parents is a great

11. En olle kan beter söfen kinner erneren, as söfen kinner ên olle. [A
parent can more easily maintain seven children than seven children one
parent.]--_Low German._

12. Fader og Moder ere gode, end er Gud bedre. [Father and mother are
kind, but God is better.]--_Danish._

13. He knows not what love is that hath no children.

14. He that loveth father and mother more than me is not worthy of

15. If poverty is the mother of crimes, want of sense is the father of
them.--_La Bruyere._

16. Keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy

17. La buena vida padre y madre olvida. [Prosperity forgets father and

18. Laus magna natis obsequi parentibus. [Great praise comes to children
for having complied with the wishes of their parents.]

19. Look at home, father priest, mother priest; your church is a
hundred-fold heavier responsibility than mine can be. Your priesthood is
from God's own hands.--_Henry Ward Beecher._

20. One mother is more venerable than a thousand fathers.
--_Laws of Manu._

21. Parents are the enemies of their children, if they refuse them
education.--_Eastern Proverb._

22. Parents' blessings can neither be drowned in water, nor consumed in

23. Parents we can have but once.--_Dr. Johnson._

24. Parents say: "Our boy is growing up." They forget his life is

25. Respect for one's parents is the highest duty of civil life.

26. The bazaar knows neither father nor mother.--_Turkish._

27. The crow says: "O my son, whiter than muslin."--_Afghan._

28. The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his
mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles
shall eat it.--_Bible._

29. The house of the childless is empty; and so is the heart of him that
hath no wife.--_Hitopadesa._

30. The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and

31. These are my jewels.--_Cornelia (mother of the Gracchi)._

32. They who have lost an infant are never, as it were, without an
infant child.--_Leigh Hunt._

33. To a father, when his child dies, the future dies; to a child, when
his parents die, the past dies.--_Auerbach._

34. To make a boy despise his mother's care is the straightest way to
make him also despise his Redeemer's voice; and to make him scorn his
father and his father's house, the straightest way to make him deny his
God and his God's heaven.--_Ruskin._

35. Unworthy offspring brag most of their worthy descent.


  Vom Vater hab'ich die Statur,
  Des Lebens ernstes Fuhren;
  Von Mutterchen die Frohnatur
  Und Lust zu fabulieren.
  [My father's stature I possess
  And life's more solemn glory;
  My mother's fund of cheerfulness,
  Her love for song and story.]--_Goethe._

37. Was der Mutter an's Herz geht, das geht dem Vater nur an die Kniee.
[What goes to the mother's heart goes only to the father's

38. Wer nicht Kinder hat, der weiss nicht, warum er lebt. [Who has not
children knows not why he lives.]--_German._

39. Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in
obscure darkness.--_Bible._

40. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no
transgression, the same is the companion of a destroyer.--_Bible._



1. Argument is like an arrow from a cross-bow, which has great force,
though shot by a child.--_Bacon_.

2. Childhood often holds a truth in its feeble fingers, which the grasp
of manhood cannot retain, and which it is the pride of utmost age to

3. Children always turn toward the light.--_Hare_.

4. Der grösste Mensch bleibt stets ein Menschenkind. [The greatest man
always remains a son of man.]--_Goethe_.

5. Dieu aide á trois sortes de personnes,--aux fous, aux enfants, et aux
ivrognes. [God protects three sorts of people,--fools, children, and

6. Enfants et fous sont devins. [Children and fools are

7. Every child is, to a certain extent, a genius, and every genius is,
to a certain extent, a child.--_Schopenhauer_.

8. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye cannot
enter into the kingdom of heaven.--_Jesus_.

  Fede ed innocenzia son reperte
  Solo ne' pargoletti.
  [Faith and innocence we find
  Only in the children's mind.]

10. Genius is the power of carrying the feelings of childhood into the
powers of manhood.--_Coleridge_.

11. Genius must be born, and never can be taught.--_Dryden_.

12. Genius should be the child of genius, and every child should be

13. God is kind to fou [_i.e._ drunken] folk and

14. God watches over little children and drunkards.--_Russian_.

15. Heaven lies about us in our infancy.--_Wordsworth_.

16. I love God and little children.--_Jean Paul_.

17. If children grew up according to early indications, we should have
nothing but geniuses.--_Goethe_.

18. Infancy presents body and spirit in unity; the body is all

19. Ingenio non ætate adipiscitur sapientia. [Wisdom comes by nature,
not by age.]--_Latin_.

20. Kinder und Narren sprechen die Wahrheit. [Children and fools tell
the truth.]--_German_.

21. Kloke kinner ward nit old. [Wise children don't live long.]

22. L'homme est toujours l'enfant, et l'enfant toujours l'homme. [The
man is always the child, and the child is always the man.]

23. Mankind at large always resembles frivolous children; they are
impatient of thought, and wish to be amused.--_Emerson_.

24. Men are but children of a larger growth; Our appetites are apt to
change as theirs, And full as craving, too, and full as

25. Men are unwiser than children; they do not know the hand that feeds

26. Men deal with life as children with their play, Who first misuse,
then cast their toys away.--_Cowper_.

27. Men fear death as children to go into the dark.--_Bacon_.

28. Nature is full of freaks, and now puts an old head on young
shoulders, and then a young heart beating under fourscore

29. Nothing is so intelligible to the child, nothing seems so natural to
him as the marvellous or the supernatural.--_Zacharia_.

30. Odi puerulos præcoci ingenio. [I hate boys of precocious

31. _on oi theoi philousin apothnaeskei neos_. [He whom the gods
love dies young.]--_Menander_.

32. Poeta nascitur, non fit. [A poet is born, not made.]--_Latin_.

  Prophete rechts, Prophete links,
  Das Weltkind in der Mitten.
  [Prophets to right of him, prophets to left of him,
  The world-child in the middle.]--_Goethe_.

34. So wise, so young, they say, do ne'er live long.
--_Shakespeare_ (Rich. III. iii. 1).

35. Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of
such is the kingdom of heaven.--_Jesus_.

36. The best architecture is the expression of the mind of man-hood by
the hands of childhood.--_Ruskin_.

37. The birth of a child is the imprisonment of a soul.--_Simons_.

38. The boy's story is the best that is ever told.--_Dickens_.

39. The child is father of the man.--_Wordsworth_.

40. The childhood shows the man As morning shows the

41. The wisest doctor is gravelled by the inquisitiveness of a

42. These moving things, ca'ed wife and weans, Wad move the very heart
o' stanes.--_Burns_.

43. They who have lost an infant are never, as it were, without an
infant child.--_Leigh Hunt_.

44. To be young is to be as one of the immortals.--_Hazlitt_.

45. Wage du zu irren und zu traumen: Hoher Sinn liegt oft im kind'schen
Spiel. [Dare thou to err and dream; Oft deep sense a child's play

46. Wer darf das Kind beim rechten Namen nennen? [Who dare give the
child its right name?]--_Goethe_.

47. Whilst we converse with what is above us, we do not grow old but
grow young.--_Emerson_.

48. Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he
shall not enter therein.--_Jesus_.

49. Ye are but children.--_Egyptian Priest (to Solon)_.



1. A child may have too much of its mother's blessing.

2. A kiss from my mother made me a painter.--_Benj. West._

3. Ama sinhesten, ezduenac, ain zuna. [Who does not follow his mother
will follow his stepmother, i.e. who will not hear must

4. A mother curses not her son.--_Sanskrit_.

5. An ounce o' mother-wit is worth a pound o' clergy.--_Scotch_.

6. As if he had fallen out of his mother's mouth (i.e. so like his
mother).--_Low German_.

7. Barmherzige Mütter ziehen grindige Töchter. [Compassionate mothers
bring up scabby daughters.]--_German_.

8. Choose cloth by its edge, a wife by her mother.--_Persian_.

9. Das Kind, das seine Mutter verachtet, hat einen stinkenden Atem. [The
child that despises its mother has a fetid breath.]--_German_.

10. Das Kind fällt wieder in der Mutter Schooss. [The child falls back
into its mother's bosom.]--_German_.

11. Das Kind folgt dem Busen. [The child follows the

12. Die Mutter eine Hexe, die Tochter auch eine Hexe. [Mother a witch,
daughter also a witch.]--_German_.

13. Die Tochter ist wie die Mutter. [Like mother, like

14. Es meinet jede Frau, ihr Kind sei ein Pfau. [Every woman thinks her
child a peacock.]--_German_.

15. Es ist kein' so böse Mutter, sie zöhe gern ein frommes Kind. [There
is no mother so bad but that she will bring up a good

16. Fleissige Mutter hat faule Tochter. [A diligent mother has a lazy

17. God pardons like a mother who kisses the offence into everlasting
forgetfulness.--_Henry Ward Beecher_.

18. Happy is the boy whose mother is tired of talking nonsense to him
before he is old enough to know the sense of it.--_Hare_.

19. He deceives thee, who tells thee that he loves thee more than thy
mother does.--_Russian_.

20. He has faut [i.e. need] o' a wife that marries mam's pet.

21. He that is born of a hen must scrape for a living.

22. I have always found that the road to a woman's heart lies through
her child.--_Haliburton_.

23. I would desire for a friend the son who never resisted the tears of
his mother.--_Lacretelle_.

24. If the world were put into one scale and my mother into the other,
the world would kick the beam.--_Lord Langdale_.

25. In a matter of life and death don't trust even your mother; she
might mistake a black bean [nay] for a white one

26. lst eine Mutter noch so arm, so giebt sie ihrem Kinde warm. [However
poor a mother is, she keeps her child warm.]--_German_.

27. It is not as thy mother says, but as thy neighbours say.

28. Jedes Mutterkind ist schon. [Every mother's child is

29. Keine Mutter tragt einen Bastart. [No mother bears a

30. La madre pitiosa fa la figluola tignosa. [A merciful mother makes a
scabby daughter.]--_Italian_.

31. Like mother, like daughter.

32. Mai agucosa, filha preguicosa. [Diligent mother, idle

33. Mere piteuse fait sa fille rogneuse. [A merciful mother makes her
daughter scabby.]-_French_.

34. Milk with water is still milk [i.e. though, your mother is bad, she
is nevertheless your mother].--_Badaga_.

35. Mothers' darlings are but milksop heroes.

36. Mothers' love is the cream of love.

37. Muttertreu wird taglich neu. [Mother's truth keeps constant

  Mysterious to all thought,
  A mother's prime of bliss,
  When to her eager lips is brought
  Her infant's thrilling kiss.--_Keble_.

39. Nature sent women into the world that they might be mothers and love
children, to whom sacrifices must ever be offered, and from whom none
can be obtained.--_Jean Paul_.

40. No bones are broken by a mother's fist.--_Russian_.

41. No hay tal madre come la que pare. [There is no mother like her who

  O l'amour d'une mere! amour quo nul n'oublie!
  Pain merveilleux, que Dieu partage et multiplie!
  Table toujours servie au paternel foyer!
  Chacun en a sa part, et tous l'ont tout entier.
  [O mother-love! love that none ever forgets!
  Wonderful bread, that God divides and multiplies!
  Table always spread beside the paternal hearth!
  Each one has his part of it, and each has it all!]
  --_Victor Hugo_.

43. One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters.

44. One scream of fear from a mother may resound through the whole life
of her daughter.--_Jean Paul_.

  Seem I not as tender to him
  As any mother?
  Ay, but such a one
  As all day long hath rated at her child,
  And vext his day, but blesses him asleep.

46. Sind die Kinder klein, so treten sie der Mutter auf den Schooss;
sind die Kinder gross, so treten sie der Mutter auf das Herz. [When the
children are small they tread upon the mother's breast; when they are
large they tread upon the mother's heart.]--_German._

47. So moder, so dogter. [Like mother, like daughter.]--_Frisian_.

  Stabat Mater dolorosa
  Juxta crucem lacrymosa
  Quo pendebat Filius.

  [Sorrow-stricken stood the Mother
  Weeping by the cross
  On which hung her Son.]
  --_Mediaeval Latin Hymn_.

49. Tendresse maternelle toujours se renouvelle. [A mother's affection
is forever new.]--_French_.

50. The child is often kissed for the mother's (nurse's) sake.

51. The elephant does not find his trunk heavy, nor the mother her
babe.--_Angolese_ (Africa).

52. The future destiny of the child is always the work of the

53. The good mother says not "Will you?" but gives.--_Italian_.

54. The mother's heart is always with her children.

55. The mother's breath is aye sweet.--_Scotch_.

56. The mother knows best if the child be like the father.

57. The mother makes the house or mars it.

58. The nurse's bread is better than the mother's cake.

59. The prayer of the mother fetches her child out of the bottom of the

60. The watchful mother tarries nigh, Though sleep has closed her
infant's eye.--_Keble_.

61. There is nothing more charming to see than a mother with her child
in her arms, and there is nothing more venerable than a mother among a
number of her children.--_Goethe_.

62. Though a mother be a wolf, she does not eat her cub's

63. Timidi mater non flet. [The coward's mother need not

64. To a child in confinement its mother's knee is a binding-post.

65. Unhappy is the man for whom his own mother has not made all mothers
venerable.--_Jean Paul_.

66. Unless the child cries even the mother will not give it

67. Wer ein saugendes Kind hat, der hat eine singende Frau. [Whoever has
a suckling child, has a singing wife.]--_German_.

68. Wer dem Kinde die Nase wischt, kusst der Mutter den Backen. [Whoever
wipes a child's nose kisses the mother's cheek.]--_German_.

69. What a mother sees coils itself up, but does not come out [i.e. the
faults of her child].-_Angolese_ (Africa).

70. You desire, O woman, to be loved ardently and forever until death;
be the mothers of your children.--_Jean Paul_.

71. Zu solchen Kindern gehort eine solche Mutter. [To such children
belongs such a mother.]--_German_.



1. An dem Kind kennt man den Vater wohl. [The father is known from the

2. Bone does not let go flesh, nor father son.--_Angolese_.

3. Bose Kinder machen den Vater fromm. [Bad children make the father

4. Chi non ha figluoli non sa qualche cosa sia amore. [Who has not
children knows not what love is.]--_Italian_.

5. Child's pig, but father's bacon.

6. Ein Vater ernahrt ehei zehn Kinder, denn zehn Kinder einen Vater.
[One father can better nourish ten children, than ten children one

7. Fathers alone a father's heart can know.--_Young_.

8.Fathers first enter bonds to Nature's ends,
  And are her sureties ere they are a friend's.
  --_George Herbert_.

9.Fathers that wear rags
  Do make their children blind;
  But fathers that wear bags
  Do make their children kind.
  --_Shakespeare_ (King Lear, ii. 4).

10.Fathers their children and themselves abuse, That wealth a husband
for their daughters choose. --_Shirley_.

11. Happy is he that is happy in his children.

12. Happy is the child whose father went to the devil.

13. Haur nizar-galeac aitari bizzarra thira. [The child that will cry,
pulls at its father's beard.]--_Basque_.

14. He has of [i.e. is like] his father.--_Russian_.

15. He is a chip of the old block.

16. He is cut out of his father's eyes [i.e. very like his

17. He is the son of his father.

18. He is a wise child that knows his own father.

19. He that can discriminate is the father of his father.--_Veda_.

20. He that hath wife and children wants not business.

21. He that marries a widow and three children marries four

22. He that hath a wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for
they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or

23. He was scant o' news that told that his father was hanged.

24. He who hath but one hog makes him fat; he who hath but one son makes
him a fool.--_Italian_.

25. It is a wise father that knows his own child.--_Shakespeare_
(Merch. of Venice, ii. 2).

26. Like father, like son.--_Arabic_.

27. Man sieht dem Kind an, was er fur einen Vater hat. [By the child one
sees what sort of man his father is.]--_German_.

28. Many a father might say ... "I put in gold into the furnace, and
there came out this calf."--_Spurgeon_.

29. Many a good father has a bad son.

30. On est toujours le fils de quelqu'un. Cela console. [One is always
the son of somebody. That is a consolation.]--_French_.

31. Patris est filius. [He is the son of his father.]--_Latin_.

32. Such a father, such a son.--_Spanish_.

33. Tel pere, tel fils. [Like father, like son.]--_French_.

34. The child is the father of the man.--_Wordsworth_.

35. The child has a red tongue like its father.

36. The Devil's child, the Devil's luck.

37. The father can no more destroy his son than the cloud can extinguish
by water the lightning which precedes from itself.--_Raghuvansa_.

38. The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set
on edge.--_Bible_.

39. The glory of children are their fathers.--_Bible_.

40. The gods do not avenge on the son the misdeeds of the father. Each,
good or bad, reaps the just reward of his own actions. The blessing of
the parents, not their curse, is inherited.--_Goethe_.

41. The ungrateful son is a wart on his father's face; to leave it is a
blemish, to cut it a pain.--_Afghan_.

42. The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of
home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering-galleries, they
are clearly heard at the end and by posterity.--_Jean Paul_.

43. To a father, who is growing old, there is nothing dearer than a

44. To a father, when his child dies, the future dies; to a child, when
his parents die, the past dies.--_Auerbach_.

45. Vinegar the son of wine [_i.e._ an unpopular son of a popular

46. Whoso wishes to live without trouble, let him keep from
step-children and winter-hogs.--_Low German_.



1. A' are guid lasses, but where do a' the ill wives come frae?

2. Age does not make us childish, as people say; it only finds
us still true children.--_Goethe_.

3. Aliud legunt pueri, aliud viri, aliud senes. [Children read
one way, men another, old men another.]--_Terence_.

4. A man at five may be a fool at fifteen.

5. A man at sixteen will prove a child at sixty.

6. An old knave is no babe.

7. A smiling boy seldom proves a good servant.

8. Auld folk are twice bairns.--_Scotch_.

9. Aus gescheidenen Kindern werden Gecken. [From clever
children come fools.]--_German_.

10. Aus Kindern werden Leute, aus Jungfern werden Bräute.
[From children come grown-up people, from maidens come brides.]

11. Better bairns greet [_i.e._ weep] than bearded men.

12. Childhood and youth see all the world in persons.

13. Childhood often holds a truth in its feeble fingers, which
the grasp of manhood cannot retain, and which it is the pride of
utmost age to recover.--_Ruskin_.

14. Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day.--_Milton_.

15. Der Jüngling kämpft, damit der Greis geniesse. [The youth fights, in
order that the old man may enjoy.]--_Goethe_.

16. Een diamant van een dochter wordt een glas van eene vrouw. [A
diamond of a daughter becomes a glass of a wife.]--_Dutch_.

17. Eident [_i.e._ diligent] youth makes easy age.--_Scotch_.

  Ewig jung zu bleiben
  Ist, wie Diehter schreiben,
  Höchstes Lebensgut;
  Willst du es erwerben,
  Musst du frühe sterben.
  [To remain ever-young
  Is, as poets write,
  The highest good of life;
  If thou wouldst acquire it,
  Thou must die young.]--_Rückert_.

19. Fanciulli piccioli, dolor di testa; fanciulli grandi dolor di cuore.
[Little children bring head-ache, big children, heart-ache.]

20. Giovine santo, diavolo vecchio. [Young saint, old devil.]

21. Hang a thief when he's young, and he'll no steal when
he's auld.--_Scotch_.

22. Happy child! the cradle is still to thee an infinite space; once
grown into a man, and the boundless world will be too small to

23. He cometh to you with a tale which holdeth children from play, and
old men from the chimney-corner.--_Sir Philip Sidney_.

24. He who mocks the infant's faith Shall be mocked in age and

25. How little is the promise of the child fulfilled in the man!

26. If you lie upon roses when young, you will lie upon thorns when old.

  Ihr Kinder, lernet jetzt genug,
  Ihr lernt nichts mehr in alten Zeiten.
  [Ye children, learn enough now;
  When time has passed, you will learn nothing more.]--_Pfeffel_.

28. In childhood a linen rag buys friendship.--_Angolese_.

29. In childhood be modest, in youth temperate, in manhood just, and in
old age prudent.--_Socrates_.

30. In the opening bud you see the youthful thorns.--_Talmud_.

31. In youth one has tears without grief; in age, grief without
tears.--_Jean Paul._

32. Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment of age.

33. It's no child's play, when an old woman dances.--_Low German._

34. Jong rijs is te buigen, maar geen oude boomen. [A young twig can be
bent, but not old trees.]--_Dutch._

35. Jonge lui, domme lui; oude lui, koude lui. [Young folk, silly folk;
old folk, cold folk.]--_Dutch._

36. Junge Faullenzer, alte Bettler. [Young idlers, old beggars.]

37. Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth When thought is speech, and
speech is truth.--_Scott._

38. La jeunesse devrait etre une caisse d'épargne. [Youth ought to be a
savings-bank.]--_Mme. Svetchin._

39. Learn young, learn fair; Learn auld, learn mair.--_Scotch._

40. Let the young people mind what the old people say, And where there
is danger, keep out of the way.

41. Levity is artlessness in a child, a shameful fault in men, and a
terrible folly in old age.--_La Rochefoucauld._

42. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are
wives.--_Shakespeare_ (As You Like It, iv. 1).

43. Man schont die Alten, wie man die Kinder schont. [We spare old
people, as we spare children.]--_Goethe._

44. Man mut de kinner bugen, so lange se junk sunt. [Children must be
bent while they are young.]--_Frisian._

45. Man's second childhood begins when a woman gets hold of

46. My son's my son till he hath got him a wife, But my daughter's my
daughter all the days of her life.

47. Nicht die Kinder bloss speist man mit Mãrchen ab. [Not children
alone are put off with tales.]--_Leasing._

48. Old head and young hand.

49. Old heads will not suit young shoulders.

50. Old men are twice children.--_Greek_.

51. Once a man and twice a child.

52. Se il giovane sapesse, se il vecchio potesse, c' non c' è cosa che
non si facesse. [If the youth but knew, if the old man but could, there
is nothing which would not be done.]--_Italian_.

53. Study is the bane of boyhood, the element of youth, the indulgence
of manhood, and the restorative of age.--_Landor_.

54. The household is the home of the man as well as of the

55. The man whom grown-up people love, children love still
more.--_Jean Paul_.

56. There are in man, in the beginning, and at the end, two blank
book-binder's leaves,--childhood and age.--_Jean Paul_.

57. We are children for the second time at twenty-one, and again when we
are gray and put all our burden on the Lord.--_Barrie_.

58. We bend the tree when it is young.--_Bulgarian_.

59. When bairns are young they gar their parents' heads ache; when they
are auld they make their hearts break.--_Scotch_.

60. When children, we are sensualists, when in love, idealists.

61. Wie die Alten sungen, so zwitschern auch die Jungen. [As the old
birds sing, the young ones twitter.]--_German_.

62. Wir sind auch Kinder gewesen. [We too were once children.]

63. Young men think that old men are fools; but old men know young men
are fools.--_Chapman_.

64. Youth is a blunder; manhood, a struggle; old age, a regret.

  Youth is full of sport, age's breath is short;
  Youth is nimble, age is lame;
  Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold;
  Youth is wild, and age is tame.--_Shakespeare_.



1. A beltless bairn cannot lie.--_Scotch._

2. A burnt child dreads the fire.

3. A child is a Cupid become visible.--_Novalis._

4. A daft nurse makes a wise wean.--_Scotch._

5. A growing youth has a wolf in his belly.

6. A hungry belly has no ears.

7. A lisping lass is good to kiss.

8. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

9  An infant crying in the night,
   An infant crying for the light;
   And with no language but a cry.--_Tennyson._

10. A pet lamb makes a cross ram.

11. A reasonable word should be received even from a child or a

12. A simple child
    That lightly draws its breath,
    And feels its life in every limb,
    What should it know of death?--_Wordsworth._

13. As sair greets [as much weeps] the bairn that's paid at e'en as he
that gets his whawks in the morning.--_Scotch._

14. A tarrowing bairn was never fat.--_Scotch._

15. Auld men are twice bairns.--_Scotch._

16. Auld wives and bairns make fools of physicians.--_Scotch._

17. Bairns are certain care, but nae sure joy.--_Scotch._

18. Be born neither wise nor fair, but lucky.--_Russian._

19. Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law,
    Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw.--_Pope._

20. Better be unborn than untaught.--_Gaelic_.

21. Birth's good, but breeding's better.--_Scotch_.

22. Bon sang ne peut mentir. Qui naquit chat court après les souris.
[Good blood cannot lie. The kitten will chase the

23. Broken bread makes hale bairns.--_Scotch_.

24. By sports like these are all their cares beguil'd, The sports of
children satisfy the child.--_Goldsmith_.

25. Çe que l'enfant entend au foyer, est bientôt connu jusqu'au Moistre.
[What children hear at the fireside is soon known as far as Moistre (a
town in Savoy).]--_French_.

26. Che nasce bella nasce maritata. [A beautiful girl is born

27. Childhood and youth see the world in persons.--_Emerson_.

28. Childhood is the sleep of Reason.--_Rousseau_.

29. Children and chickens are always a-picking.

30. Children and drunken people tell the truth.

31. Children and fools speak the truth.--_Greek_.

32. Children and fools have many lives.

33. Children are certain sorrows, but uncertain joys.--_Danish_.

34. Children are the poor man's wealth.--_Danish_.

35. Children are very nice observers, and they will often
perceive your slightest defects.--_Fénelon_.

36. Children cry for nuts and apples, and old men for gold and silver.

37. Children have more need of models than of critics.--_Jouberi_.

38. Children have wide ears and long tongues.

38a. Children increase the cares of life, but they mitigate the
remembrance of death.

39. Children, like dogs, have so sharp and fine a scent, that they
detect and hunt out everything--the bad before all the

40. Children of wealth, or want, to each is given One spot of green, and
all the blue of heaven.--_Holmes_.

41. Children pick up words as chickens peas, And utter them again as God
shall please.

42. Children should have their times of being off duty, like

43. Children to bed, and the goose to the fire.

44. Children should laugh, but not mock; and when they laugh, it should
not be at the weaknesses and faults of others.--_Buskin._

45. Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more
bitter.--Bacon. 46. Children tell in the streets what they hear round
the hearth.--_Portuguese._

47. Das kann ein Kind machen. [A child can do that--that
is very easy.]--_German._

48. Das Kind mit dem Bade verschutten. [To throw away the child with the
bath--to reject the good along with the bad.]--_German._

49. Dat is en kinnerspil. [That's child's play--very easy.]

50. Dat lutjeste un lefste. [The youngest and dearest.]

51. Dawted [i.e. petted] bairns dow bear little.--_Scotch._

52. Dawted dochters mak' dawly [slovenly] wives.--_Scotch._

53. Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea
how to shoot.--_Thomson._

54. De wesen wil bemint, de nem sin naver kind. [Who would be loved, let
him take his neighbour's child.]--Frisian.

55. Die Kinder sind mein liebster Zeitvertreib. [Children are my dearest

56. Dochders zijn broze waaren. [Daughters are brittle

57. Do not meddle wi' the de'il and the laird's bairns.--_Scotch._

58. Do not talk of a rape [rope] to a chiel whose father was

59. Do not train boys to learning by force or harshness; but direct them
to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be the better able to
discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of

60. Education begins its work with the first breath of life.
--_Jean Paul._

61. Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken
within the hearing of little children tends towards the formation of

62. Eet maar Brod, dann wardst du grôt. [Eat bread and you'll

63. Ein Kind, kein Kind, zwei Kind, Spielkind, drei Kind, viel Kind,
vier Kind, ein ganzes Hausvoll Kinder. [One child, no child; two
children, playing children; three children, many children; four
children, a whole house full of children.]--_German_ (with numerous

64. Ein Laster kostet mehr als zwei Kinder. [One crime costs more than
two children.]--_German_.

65. Es ist besser zehn Kinder gemacht, als ein einziges umgebracht. [It
is better to have made ten children than to have destroyed

66. Fools and bairns shouldna see things half done.--_Scotch_.

67. Fools with bookish learning are children with edged tools; they hurt
themselves, and put others in pain.--_Zimmermann_.

68. Fremde Kinder, wir lieben sie nie so sehr als die eignen. [We never
love the children of others so well as our own.]--_Goethe_.

69. Fremde Kinder werden wohl erzogen. [Other people's children are well
brought up.]--_German_.

70. Gie a bairn his will,
    And a whelp his fill,
    Nane o' them will e'er do well.--_Scotch_.

71. Give a child till he craves, and a dog while his tail doth wag, and
you'll have a fair dog, but a foul knave.

72. Gie a dog an ill name and he'll soon be hanged.--_Scotch_.

73. God is kind to fou [_i.e._ drunken] folk and

74. God ne'er sent the mouth but He sent the meat wi't.--_Scotch_.

75. God watches over little children and drunkards.--_Russian_.

76. Gude bairns are eith [easy] to lear [teach].--_Scotch_.

77. Happy is he that is happy in his children.

78. He who sends mouths will send meat.

79. Heimerzogen Kind ist bei den Leuten wie ein Rind. [A home-bred child
acts like a cow.]--_German_.

80. He that's born to be hanged will never be drowned.

81. He that is born under a tippeny [two-penny] planet will ne'er be
worth a groat.--_Scotch_.

82. I cuori fanciulli non veston a bruno. [A child's heart puts on no

83. If our child squints, our neighbour's has a cast in both eyes.

84. Ill bairns are best heard at hame.--_Scotch._

85. It is the squalling child that gets the milk.--_Turkish._

86. Je lieberes Kind, je scharfere Rute. [The dearer the child, the
sharper the rod.]--_German._

87. Kinder hat man, Kinder kriegt man. [Children bring

88. Kinder kommen von Herzen und gehen zu Herzen. [Children come from
the heart, and go to the heart.]--_German._

89. Kinder und Bienstocke nehmen bald ab bald zu. [Children and
bee-hives now decrease, now increase.]--_German._

90. Kind's hand is ball fullt,
    Kind's zurn is ball stillt.
   [A child's hand is soon filled,
    A child's anger is soon stilled.]--_Low German._

91. Late children are early orphans.--_Spanish._

92. Les enfants sont ce qu'on les fait. [Children are what we make

93. Let thy child's first lesson be obedience, and the second will be
what thou wilt.--_Franklin._

94. Liebe Kinder haben viele Namen. [Dear children have many

95. Lieber ungezogene, als verzogene Kinder. [Better unbred children
than ill-bred ones.]--_German._

96. Like the wife wi' the mony daughters, the best comes

97. Little pitchers have big ears.

98. Little ones are taught to be proud of their clothes before they can
put them on.--_LocJce._

99. Lutze potten hebben ok oren [i.e. little children have
ears].--_Low German._

100. Man is wholly man only when he plays.--_Schiller._

101. Maxima debetur pueris reverentia. [The greatest respect is due to
boys (youth).]--_Juvenal._

102. Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and
dogs than of their children.--_William Penn._

103. Mony a ane kisses the bairn for love of the nurice.--_Scotch._

104. More children, more luck.--_German._

105. Nessuno nasce maestro. [No one is born master.]--_Italian._

106. 'N gôd Kind, wen't slöpt. [A good child, when it sleeps.]

107. O banish the tears of children! Continual rains upon the blossoms
are hurtful.--_Jean Paul._

108. O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori. [Oh, beauteous boy, trust
not too much to thy rosy cheeks.]--_Virgil._

109. Of bairns' gifts ne'er be fain, Nae sooner they give but they seek
them again.--_Scotch._

110. One chick keeps a hen busy.

111. Our young men are terribly alike.--_Alex. Smith._

112. Pars minima est ipsa puella sui. [The girl herself is the smallest
part of herself.]--_Ovid._

113. Parvum parva decent. [Small things become the small.]

114. Play is the first poetry of the human being.--_Jean Paul._

115. Qui aime bien, châtie bien. [Who loves well chastises

116. Qui parcit virgæ odit filium. [Who spareth the rod
hateth his child.]--_Latin._

117. Reckless youth maks ruefu' eild [age].--_Scotch._

118. Royet [wild] lads may make sober men.--_Scotch._

119. Rule youth well, for eild will rule itself.--_Scotch._

120. Salt and bread make the cheeks red.--_German._

121. Seven nurses cost the child an eye.--_Russian._

122. Small birds [_i.e._ children] must have meat.

123. Sores are not to be shown to flies, and children are not to be
taught to lie.--_Malay._

124. Spare the rod and spoil the child.

125. Teach your children poetry; it opens the mind, lends grace to
wisdom, and makes the heroic virtues hereditary.--_Mahomet._

126. Tenez la bride haute à votre fils. [Keep a tight rein over your

127. That's the piece a step-bairn never gat.--_Scotch._

128. The bairn speaks in the field what he hears at the fireside.

129. The bearing and the training of a child is woman's wisdom.

130. The best horse needs breeding and the aptest child needs

131. The boy's will is the wind's will.--_Lapp._

132. The chief art is to make all that children have to do sport
and play.--_Locke._

133. The child says nothing but what he heard at the fireside.

134. The de'il's bairns hae the de'il's luck.--_Scotch._

135. The heart is a child; it desires what it sees.--_Turkish._

136. The heart of childhood is all mirth.--_Keble._

137. The king is the strength of the weak; crying is the strength of

138. The right law of education is that you take the best pains with the
best material.--_Ruskin._

139. The spring is the youth of trees, wealth is the youth of men,
beauty is the youth of women, intelligence is the youth of the

140. The plays of children are the germinal leaves of all later

141. The time of breeding is the time of doing children good.
--_George Herbert._

142. They were scant o' bairns that brought you up.--_Scotch._

143. The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the
moon, or perchance a palace on the earth; at length middle-aged, he
concludes to build a woodshed with them.--_Thoreau._

144. They who educate children well are more to be honoured than they
who produce them; these gave them life only, those the art of

145. To a child all weather is cold.

146. To endure is the first and most necessary lesson a child has to

147. To write down to children's understandings is a mistake; set them
on the scent, and let them puzzle it out.--_Scott._

148. Un enfant brûlé craint le feu. [A burnt child dreads the

149. Ungezogene Kinder gehen zu Werk wie Binder. [Unbred children go to
work like cattle.]--_German._

150. Viel Kinder viel Vaterunser, viel Vaterunser viel Segen. [Many
children, many Paternosters; many Paternosters, many

151. We ought not to teach the children the sciences, but give them a
taste for them.--_Rousseau_.

152. Wen de gôsen wâter sên, dan willen se drinken. [When the geese
(_i.e._ children) see water, they want to drink.]--_Frisian_.

153. Wenn das Kind ertrunken ist, deckt man den Brunnen. [When the child
is drowned, the well is covered.]--_German_.

154. Wenn Kinder und Narren zu Markte gehen, lösen die Krämer Geld.
[When children and fools go to market, the dealers make

155. Wenn Kinder wohl schreien, so lebeu sie lange. [When children cry
well, they live long.]--_German_.

156. Wer wil diu kint vraget, der wil si liegen leren. [Who asks
children many questions teaches them to lie.]--_Old High German_.

157. What children hear at home soon flies abroad.

158. When children remain quiet, they have done something wrong.

159. Women and bairns lein [hide] what they ken not.--_Scotch_.

160. Women and children should retire when the sun does.

161. You should lecture neither child nor woman.--_Russian_.

_Index to Proverbs, etc._

Following is an index of peoples and authors for the foregoing proverbs
and sayings (the references are to pages):--


Afghan, 377,379,385,389.
Angolese, 385,386,387,391.
Arabic, 388,400.
Badaga, 384.
Basque, 382,387.
Bulgarian, 393.
Chinese, 377.
Danish, 377,378,395.
Dutch, 391,392,396.
Egyptian, 381.
English, 376,377,380,382,383,384,385,387,388,390,392,393,394,
French, 379,380,383,385,388,395,398,399,400.
Frisian, 380,385,392,396,397,399,401.
Gaelic, 376,395.
Greek, 393,395.
Hebrew, 383.
Hindu, 377.
Italian, 383,385,387,388,391,393,395,399.
Lapp, 400.
Latin, 380, 385, 388, 399.
Low German, 377, 382, 389, 392, 398.
Malay, 399.
Oriental, 377.
Persian, 382.
Portuguese, 383,396, 401.
Roman, 378.
Russian, 376, 380, 383, 384, 385, 387, 394, 397, 399, 401.
Sanskrit, 377, 382, 394, 400.
Scotch, 380, 382, 383, 385, 388, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395,
396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 401.
Spanish, 377, 384, 388, 398.
Telugu, 386.
Turkish, 377, 398, 400.


Alcibiades, 383.
Aristotle, 400.
Auerbach, 378, 389.
Bacon, 377, 379, 380, 388, 396.
Ballon, 396.
Barrie, 392, 393.
Beecher, 377, 383.
Bible, 377, 378, 388.
Blake, 391.
Burns, 381.
Carlyle, 380.
Chamisso, 396.
Chapman, 393.
Cicero, 380.
Coleridge, 379, 380.
Cornelia, 378.
Cowper, 380.
Dante, 379.
Dickens, 381.
Disraeli, 393.
Dryden, 379, 380.
Emerson, 379, 380, 381, 390, 393, 395.
Eötvös, 376.
Euripides, 389.
Fénelon, 395.
Franklin, 398.
Froebel, 400.
Goethe, 378, 379, 380, 381, 385, 389, 390, 392, 393, 395, 397.
Goldsmith, 395.
Haliburton, 383.
Hare, 379, 383.
Hazlitt, 381.
Herbert, 387, 400.
Hitopadesa, 377, 385.
Holmes, 395.
Horace, 376, 399.
Hugo, 384.
Hunt, 378, 381.
Jean Paul, 376, 380, 384, 385, 386, 389, 392, 393, 396, 399.
Jesus, 377, 379, 381.
Johnson, 377.
Joubert, 395.
Juvenal, 398.
Keble, 384, 385, 400.
La Bruyère, 377.
Lacretelle, 383.
Landor, 393.
Langdale, 383.
La Rochefoucauld, 392.
Lessing, 392.
Locke, 398, 400.
Mahomet, 399.
Manu, 377.
Menander, 380.
Milton, 381, 390.
Napoleon, 385.
Novalis, 394.
Ovid, 391, 399.
Penn, 398.
Pfeffel, 391.
Phædrus, 377.
Pistorius, 376.
Plato, 396.
Pope, 394.
Raghuvansa, 388.
Rousseau, 395, 400, 401.
Rückert, 391.
Ruskin, 378, 379, 381, 390, 395, 396, 400.
Schiller, 381, 391, 398.
Schopenhauer, 379.
Scott, 400.
Shakespeare, 381, 387, 388, 392, 393.
Shirley, 387.
Sidney, 391.
Simons, 381.
Smith, 399.
Socrates, 392.
Southey, 376.
Spurgeon, 388.
Svetchin, 392.
Swift, 392.
Talmud, 389, 392.
Tennyson, 384, 394, 400.
Terence, 390.
Thomson, 396.
Thoreau, 400.
Veda, 388.
Virgil, 399.
Weber, 376.
West, 382.
Wordsworth, 380, 381, 388, 394.
Young, 387.
Zachari, 380.
Zendrini, 398.
Zimmermann, 397.

For the collection of proverbs and sayings here given, the writer
acknowledges his indebtedness to the numerous dictionaries of quotations
and proverbs, of which he has been able to avail himself.



In these pages the "Child in Primitive Culture" has been considered in
many lands and among many peoples, and the great extent of the
activities of childhood among even the lowest races of men fully
demonstrated. That the child is as important to the savage, to the
barbarous peoples, as to the civilized, is evident from the vast amount
of lore and deed of which he is the centre both in fact and in fiction.
The broader view which anthropologists and psychologists are coming to
take of the primitive races of man must bring with it a larger view of
the primitive child. Still less than the earliest men, were their
children, mere animals; indeed, possibly, nay even probably, the
children of primitive man, while their childhood lasts, are the equals,
if not the superiors, of those of our own race in general intellectual
capacity. With the savage as with the European of to-day, the "child is
father of the man."

The primitive child, as language and folk-lore demonstrate, has been
weighed, measured, and tested physically and mentally by his elders,
much as we ourselves are doing now, but in ruder fashion--there are
primitive anthropometric and psychological laboratories as proverb and
folk-speech abundantly testify, and examinations as harassing and as
searching as any we know of to-day. Schools, nay primitive colleges,
even, of the prophets, the shamans, and the _magi_, the race has
had in earlier days, and everywhere through the world the activities of
childhood have been appealed to, and the race has wonderfully profited
by its wisdom, its _naïveté_, its ingenuity, and its touch of

Upon, language, religion, society, and the arts the child has had a
lasting influence, both passive and active, unconscious, suggestive,
creative. History, the stage, music, and song have been its debtors in
all ages and among all peoples.

To the child language owes many of its peculiarities, and the
multiplicity of languages perhaps their very existence. Religion has had
the child long as its servant, and from the faith and confidence of
youth and the undying mother-love have sprung the thought of immortality
and the Messiah-hope that greets us all over the globe. Even among the
most primitive races, it is the children who are "of the Kingdom of
Heaven," and the "Fall of Man" is not from a fabled Garden of Eden, but
from the glory of childhood into the stern realities of manhood. As a
social factor the child has been of vast importance; children have sat
upon thrones, have dictated the policies of Church and of State, and
from them the wisest in the land have sought counsel and advice. As
oracles, priests, shamans, and _thaumaturgi_, children have had the
respect and veneration of whole peoples, and they have often been the
very mouth-piece of deity, standing within the very gates of heaven. As
hero and adventurer, passing over into divinity, the child has explored
earth, sea, and sky, descending into nethermost hell to rescue the bones
of his father, and setting ajar the gates of Paradise, that the radiant
glory may be seen of his mother on earth. Finally, as Christ sums up all
that is divine in men, so does the Christ-Child sum up all that is God-
like in the child. The Man-Jesus stands at the head of mankind, the
Child-Jesus is the first of the children of men. All the activities and
callings of the child, the wisdom, the beauty, the innocence of
childhood find in folk-belief and folk-faith their highest, perfect
expression in the Babe of Bethlehem. True is it as ten thousand years

 "Before life's sweetest mystery still
  The heart in reverence kneels;
  The wonder of the primal birth
  The latest mother feels."

Motherhood and childhood have been the world's great teachers, and the
prayer of all the race should be:--

 "Let not (the) cultured years make less
  The childhood charm of tenderness."


The Bibliography here given is intended to serve the double purpose of
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citations from the numerous authorities referred to in the compilation
of the work, with as little difficulty as possible, and of furnishing to
such as may desire to carry on extended reading in any of the subjects
touched upon in the book a reasonable number of titles of the more
recent and valuable treatises dealing with such topics.

All references in the body of the book to works listed in the
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Afrikanische Jurisprudenz, II. Th., S. 180; 300. 15 means _Lombroso,
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140. SCHERER, O.: Bilder aus dem serbischen Volks- und Familienleben.
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171. WLISLOCKI, H. v.: Volksglaube und Volksbrauch der Siebenbürger
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175. ZUCCARELLI, A.: Divorzio e scienza antropologica. Napoli, 1893. 46

Following is a subject-index to the titles of Section A:--

Abnormal and delinquent, 49, 86, 104, 110, 116, 185, 148, 144, 148, l57.
Africa, 14, 48.
Amazons, 154.
American Indians, 13, 27, 51, 52, 63, 69, 72, 73.
Arabia, 80a, 151, 168.
Assyria, 138.
Australia, 54, 55-57.

Babylonia, 74, 138.

Celibacy, 71, 94.
Ceylon, 10.
Child-birth, l6a, 43, 48, 83.
China, 81, 123.
Chirography, 65, 66.

Divorce, 15, 25a, 47, 106, 183, 175.

Egypt, 19, 88.
Epigram, 17, 45, 122, 126.
Esthonian, 145.
Evolution, 36, 37.

Family, 26, 32, 44, 68, 76, 89, 92, 99, 103, 119, 123, 128, 139, 140,
151, 152, 163, 166, 169.
Father, 114, 130a, 151.
Father-right, 9, 82, 80, 114.
Fiji, l6a.
France, 85, 160.

Gender, 3, 68.
Germany, 29, 81, 54, 98, 141, 165.
Girls, 7, 54, 116.
Gypsies, 172.

India, 5, 16, 85.
Italy, 33, 173.

Japan, 7, 78, 105.
Jews, 12, 41, 102.

Language, 19, 74, 158, 164.
Literature, 78, 126.

Magyars, 170.
Man, names for, 158.
Marriage, 1, 10, 12, 13, 25a, 30, 31, 33, 41, 55-57, 68, 69, 72, 73, 88,
91, 98, 99, 102, 106, 109, 115, 141, 145, 151, 161-163, 166, 169.
Medicine, 173.
Mexico, 8.
Morals, 96.
Mordwins, 109.
Mother, 4, 39, 67, 150, 156, 174.
Matriarchate and mother-right, 6, 9, 31, 32, 80, 168.
Mother and child, 27.
Mother-in-law, 17, 58.
Mourning, 16.
Mummy, 19.

New Britain, 30.

Old maids, 71.
Oriental, 159.

Papua, 139.
Poetry of motherhood, 39.
Poets, 22, 149.
Polyandry, 5, 40.
Proverbs, 45, 132, 133.

Relationship, 13, 41, 108, 118, 147, 167.
Religion, 73, 124.
Rome, 92, 159.
Royalty, 75.
Russia, 84, 136.

Samoa, 89.
Satire, 17, 45.
Scotland, 134.
Servia, 140.
Sex-relations, 20, 28, 42, 46, 53, 54, 59, 60, 62, 64, 86, 90, 110, 120,
125, 128, 135, 137, 143, 144, 157, 161.
Siberia, 11.
Slavonic, 87, 88.
Sociology, 8, 25, 85, 51, 52, 81, 82, 84, 95, 100, 101, 107, 117, 127,
130, 184, 136, 138, 170, 172.

Tibet, 5.
Transylvania, 171, 172.
Turkey, 61, 80a.

Ukraine, 167.
United States, 25a.

Woman, names for, 164.
Woman's position and labours, 2, 11, 21-24, 29, 34, 88, 46, 50, 61, 69,
77, 78, 80a, 85, 97, 104, 105, 111-118, 121, 122, 125, 132, 146, 158,
155, 160, 165.


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201. CHAMBERLAIN, A. F.: Further Notes on Indian Child-Language.
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210. CORIVEAU, A.: La Santé de nos Enfants. Paris, 1890. 288 pp. 8vo.

211. CUIR, A. F.: Les Petits Écoliers. Lectures morales sur les Défauts
et les Qualités des Enfants. Paris, 1893. 12mo.

212. CULIN, S.: Street Games of Brooklyn. _Journ. Amer. Folk-Lore._
Vol. IV. (1891), pp. 221-236.

213. CULIN, S.: Exhibit of Games in the Columbian Exposition.
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214. DANIELS, A. H.: The New Life: A Study of Regeneration (Repr. from
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215. DENEUS, CLÉMENT.: De la Réserve héréditaire des Enfants (Art. 913
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216. DONALDSON, H. H.: Education of the Nervous System. _Educ.
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217. DORSET, J. O.: Games of the Teton-Dakota Children. _Amer.
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218. DRAGOMANO, M.: Slavonic Folk-Tales about the Sacrifice of One's Own
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219. DREYLING, G.: Die Ausdrucksweise der übertriebenen Verkleinerung im
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sammlung. 6 Bde. (Das Sprichwort als Kosmopolit. 3 Bde. Intern.
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221. EARLE, ALICE M.: Customs and Fashions in Old New England. [Chapter
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222. EASTMAN, C. A.: Recollections of Wild-Life. III. Games and Sports.
_St. Nicholas_ (New York). Vol. XXI. (1893-4), pp. 306-308.

223. EELLS, M.: Twins among Indians of Puget Sound. _Science_ (New
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224. ELIOT, S.: Poetry for Children. Boston, [1879]. xii, 327 pp. Sm.

225. ENFANT (L') chez les sauvages et chezles civilisés. _Revue
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226. FEWKES, J. W.: Dolls of the Tusayan Indians (Repr. fr. _Intern.
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226 a. FIELD, EUGENE: Love Songs of Childhood. Chicago, 1895.

227. FLETCHER, ALICE C.: Glimpses of Child-Life among the Omaha Indians.
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228. FLOWER, B. O.: Lust Fostered by Legislation. _Arena_ (Boston).
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229. FLOWER, W. H.: Fashion in Deformity. London, 1881. 85 pp. 8vo.

230. FORD, R.: Ballads of Bairnhood. Selected and edited with notes by
Robert Ford. Paisley, 1894. xix, 348 pp. 8vo.

231. FOSTER, MARY J. C.: The Kindergarten of the Church. New York, 1894.
227 pp. 8vo.

232. FRACASETTI, L.: I giovani nella vita pubblica. Conferenza. Udine,

233. FROEBEL, F.: Mother's Songs, Games, and Stories. Froebel. Mutter-
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234. FURNIVALL, F. J.: Child-Marriages, Divorces, Ratifications, etc. In
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235. GAIDOZ, H.: Un vieux rite médical. Paris, 1892. ii, 85 pp. Sm. 8vo.

236. GAIDOZ, H.: Ransom by Weight. _Am Ur-Quell_. II. Bd. (1891),
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237. GAIDOZ, H., et M. PEKDRIZET: La Mesure du Cou. _Mélusine_
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238. GARBINI, A.: Evoluzione della Voce nella Infanzia. Verona, 1892. 53
pp. 8vo.

239. GATSCHET, A. S.: A Mythic Tale of the Isleta Indians: The Race of
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240. GESSMANN, G. W.: Die Kinderhand und ihre Bedeutung für Erziehung
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241. GILL, V. W.: Child-Birth Customs of the Loyalty Islands. _Journ.
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242. GOMME, ALICE B.: Children's Singing Games with the Tunes to which
they are sung. Collected and edited by Alice B. Gomme. London and New
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243. GOMME, ALICE B.: The International Games of England, Scotland, and
Ireland, with Tunes, Singing Rhymes, and Method of Playing according to
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244. GORE, J. H.: The Go-Backs. _Journ. Amer. Folk-Lore._ Vol. V.
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245. GRIFFIS, W. E.: Japanese Fairy World. Schenectady, N.Y., 1880. vii,
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246. GREGOR, W.: Notes on the Folk-Lore of the North-East of Scotland.
London, 1881. xii, 238 pp. 8vo. [Chap. I., pp. 4-6, Birth; II., 7-10,
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247. GÜLL, F.: Kinderheimat in Liedern. Volksausgabe. Gütersloh, 1875.
225 S. 8vo.

247 a. HAAS,--A.: Das Kind im Glauben und Branch der Pommern. _Am
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248. HABERLANDT, M.: Ueber tulâpurusha der Inder. _Mitt. d. anthr.
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249. HALE, HORATIO: The Origin of Languages and the Antiquity of
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250. HALE, HORATIO: The Development of Language. _Proc. Canad.
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251. HALE, HORATIO: Language as a Test of Mental Capacity. _Trans.
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252. HALL, G. S.: The Contents of Children's Minds on Entering School.
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252 a. HALL, G. S.: Children's Lies. _Ibid_., pp. 211-218.

253. HALL, G. S.: The Moral and Religious Training of Children and
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254. HALL, G. S.: Child-Study: The Basis of Exact Education.
_Forum_ (New York). Vol. XVI. (1893-4), pp. 429-441.

255. HALL, G. S.: The Story of a Sand-Pile. _Scribner's Mag._ (New
York). Vol. III. (1888), pp. 690-695.

256. HARQUEVAUX, E., et L. PELLETIER: 200 jeux d'enfants en plein air et
à la maison. Paris, 1893.

257. HARRIS, W. T.: Eighth Annual Report of the Commissioner of
Education, 1892. Industrial Education. Washington, 1892. 707 pp. 8vo.

257 a. HARRISON, ELIZABETH: A Study of Child-Nature from the
Kindergarten Standpoint. 3d. edition. Chicago, 1891. 207 pp. 8vo.

258. HARTLAND, E. S.: The Science of Fairy Tales. An Inquiry into Fairy
Mythology. London, 1891. viii, 372 pp. 8vo.

259. HARTMANN, B.: Die Analyse des kindlichen Gedankenkreises als die
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260. HASKELL, ELLEN M.: Imitation in Children. _Pedag. Sem._ Vol.
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261. HERVEY, T. K.: The Book of Christmas. Boston, 1888. vi, 356 pp.

262. HIGGINSON, T. W.: Concerning All of Us. New York, 1893. vi, 210 pp.
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263. HÖFLER, M.: Die Lösung des Zungenbändchens. _Am Ur-Quell._ V.
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264. HOYT, W. A.: The Love of Nature as the Root of Teaching and
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265. HUGHES, J. L.: The Educational Value of Play, and the Recent Play-
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266. HURLL, ESTELLE M.: Child-Life in Art. New York, 1894.

267. IM THURN, E. F.: Games of Guiana Indians. _Timehri_
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268. JOCELYN, E.: The Mother's Legacy to her Unborn Child. New York,

269. JOHNSON, G. E.: Education by Plays and Games. _Pedag. Sem._
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270. JOHNSON, J. H.: Rudimentary Society amongst Boys. _Overl.
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271. JOHNSON, J. H.: Judicial Procedure amongst Boys. _Ibid_.,

272. JOHNSON, J. H.: Rudimentary Society among Boys (J. H. Univ. Studies
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273. JOHNSON, J., Jr.: The Savagery of Boyhood. _Pop. Sci. Mo._
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274. KALMANT, L.: Kinderschrecker und Kinderräuber im magyarischen
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275. KEBER, A.: Zur Philosophie der Kindersprache. Gereimtes und
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276. KIPLING, E.: The Jungle Book. New York, 1894. xvii, 303 pp. 8vo.

277. KISS, A.: Magyar gyermekjátek gyütemény [Collection of Hungarian
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278. KLEINPAUL, R.: Menschenopfer und Ritualmorde. Leipzig, 1892. 80 S.

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281. KRAUSS, F. S.: Geheime Sprachweisen _Am Ur-Quell_. II. Bd.
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282. KEUSCHE, G.: Litteratur der weiblichen Eiziehung und Bildung in
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285. LAIBLE, H.: Jesus Christus im Thalmud. Berlin, 1891. 122 S. 8vo.

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287. LALLEMAND, L.: La question des Enfants abandonnés et delaissés au
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288. LANGE, HELENE: Higher Education of Women in Europe. New York, 1890.
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289. LAURIE, S. S.: Lectures on the Rise and Early Constitution of
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290-296. LAURIE, S. S.: The History of Early Education. [Several
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297. LAURIE, S. S.: Historical Survey of Pre-Christian Education. New
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298. LEIPZIGER, H. M.: The Education of the Jews (Educ. Monogr. Publ. by
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299. LETOURNEAU, M.: Les Mensurations du Cou en Bretagne et en Kabylie.
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300. LOMBROSO, C.: The Man of Genius. London and New York, 1895. xvi,
370 pp.

301. LOMBROSO, PAOLA: Saggi di Psicologia del Bambino. Torino-Roma,
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302. LUMMIS, C. F.: The Man who Married the Moon, and other Pueblo
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303. MACDONALD, A.: Abnormal Man, being Essays on Education and Crime,
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304. MAGNUS, LADY: The Boys of the Bible. London, 1894.

305. MARENHOLZ-BÜLOW, BARONESS: The Child and Child-Nature. 5th ed.
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306. MASON, O. T.: Cradles of the American Aborigines. _Rep. U. S.
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307. MAUPATÉ, L.: Recherches d'anthropologie criminelle chez l'enfant;
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308. McLEAN, J. E.: Psychic View of Infant Prodigies. _Metaphys.
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309. MEHNERT, A.: Bin indischer Kaspar Hauser. Eine Erzählung aus dem
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310. MILES, CAROLINE: A Study of Individual Psychology. _Amer. Journ.
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311. MORENO, H. DE: La festa del natale in Sicilia. Palermo, 1893.

312. MOUTIER, A.: Contribution à l'étude de la protection de l'enfanee à
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313. NEWELL, W. W.: Games and Songs of American Children. New York,
1884. xii, 242 pp. Sm. 4to.

314. NICOLAY, F.: Les enfants mal élevés. Paris, 1890.

315. ORTWEIN, F.: Deutsche Weihnachten. Der Weihnachtsfestkreis nach
seiner Entstehung, seinen Sitten und Bräuchen deutscher Völker. Gotha,
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316. OWENS, J. G.: Natal Ceremonies of the Hopi Indians. Journ. Amer.
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317. Papers Relating to Infant Marriage and Enforced Widowhood in India.
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318. Pedagogical Seminary (The). An International Record of Educational
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319. PEREZ, B.: Le Caractère de l'Enfant à l'Homme. Paris, 1892.

320. PEREZ, B.: L'Art et la Poésie chez l'Enfant. Paris, 1888. 308 pp.

321. PITRÉ, G.: Usi e Credenze dei Fanciulli in Sicilia. Palermo, 1889.
16 pp. Sm. 8vo.

322. PITRÉ, G.: Mirabile facolta di alcune famiglie di guarire certe
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323. PITRÉ, G.: Folk-lore giuridico dei Fanciulli in Sicilia. Palermo,
1890. 6 pp.

324. PITRÉ, G.: Il pesce d'Aprile. V. Ed. con moltiss. giunte. Palermo,
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325. PLOSS, H.: Das kleine Kind vom Tragbett bis zum ersten Schritt.
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326. PLOSS, H.: Das Kind in Brauch und Sitte der Völker.
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327. POKROVSKI, E. A.: Fizicheskoe vospitanie detei u. raznich narodov
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328. POKROVSKI, E. A.: Pervonachalnoe fizicheskoe vospitanie dietei
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329. POKROVSKI, E. A.: Ob ucho die za malymi dietmi [on the care of
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330. POKROVSKI, E. A.: Detskija igry preimushestvenno russkija (V.
svjazi s istorei, etnografei, pedagogiei, i gigienoi) [Children's Games,
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331. PORTER, J. H.: Notes on the Artificial Deformation of Children
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332. POST, A. H.: Mittheilungen aus dem bremischen Volkleben
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332a. PODLSSON, E.: Finger-Plays for Nursery and Kindergarten. Boston,

333. RAND, K. E.: The Childhood of an Affinity. New York, 1893. vi, 304
pp. 8vo.

334. RASSIER, M: Valeur du témoignage des enfants en justice. Lyons,
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335. RAUBER, A.: Homo Sapiens Ferus oder die Zustände der Verwilderten
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336. RICCARDI, A.: Antropologia e Pedagogia. Introduzione ad una Scienza
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336a. RILEY, J. W.: Rhymes of Childhood. Indianapolis, 1894. 186 pp.

337. ROBERTSON, E. S.: The Children of the Poets. An Anthology from
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xxxviii, 273 pp. 12mo.

337 a. ROBINSON, L.: The Primitive Child. _N. Amer. Rev._ (N. Y.),
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339. [RUNKLE, K. B.]: A Collection for Christmas. The New Year. Easter.
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340. SAUBERT, DR.: Maikäfer, Frau Holle's Bote. _Am Urdhs-Brunnen._
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341. SCHALLENBERGER, MARGARET E.: A Study of Children's Rights as seen
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343. SCHELL, O.: Woher kommen die Kinder? _Am Ur-Quell._ IV. Bd.
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344. SCOTT, C. N.: The Child-God in Art. _Contemp. Bev._ (London).
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345. SCRIPTURE, E. W.: Arithmetical Prodigies. _Amer. Journ.
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346. SCUDDER, H. M.: Childhood in Greek and Roman Literature.
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347. SCUDDER, H. M.: Childhood in Early Christianity. _Ibid._, pp.

348. SCUDDER, H. M.: Childhood in Medieval Art. _Ibid._, LVI.
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349. SCUDDER, H. M.: Childhood in English Literature and Art. Ibid., pp.
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349 a. SCUDDER, H. M.: Childhood in Modern Literature and Art.
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350. SCUDDER, H. M.: Childhood in Literature and Art, with Some
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351. SESSIONS, F.: The Younger Son (Folk-Lore Topics, No. 5). Eepr. from
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352. SESSIONS, F.: Beating the Bounds (Folk-Lore Topics, No. 4). Eepr.
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353. SHINN, MILLICENT W.: Some Comments on Babies [of Various Eaces].
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354. SOHNKEY, H.: Geburt und Taufe in der Gegend des Sollinger Waldes.
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355. STARR, F.: A Page of Child-Lore. Journ, Amer. Folk-Lore. Vol. IV.
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356. STEEL, F. A., and E. C. TEMPLE: Wide Awake Stories. A Collection of
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357. STEINMETZ, S. E.: De "Fosterage" of Opvoeding in Vreemde Families
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358. STEVENSON, Mrs. T. E.: The Religious Life of a ZnEi Child. Fifth
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359. STEVENSON, E. L.: A Child's Garden of Verse, 1885.

360. STORK, T.: The Children of the New Testament. Philadelphia, 1856.
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361. STRACK, H. C.: Der Blutaberglaube in der Menschheit, Blutmorde und
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361a. STRASZBURGER, B.: Geschichte der Erziehung und des Unterrichts bei
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362. STRETTELL, ALMA: Lullabies of Many Lands. New York, 1894.

363. STRONG, G. D.: Child-Life in Many Lands. Boston, 1870. iv, 210 pp.

364. Studentensprache und Studentenlied in Halle von 100 Jahren.
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365. SULLY, J.: Studies of Childhood. [Numerous articles in Pop. Sei.
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366. SUNDERMANN, F.: Woher kommen die Kinder? Eine Beantwortung dieser
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the Physical and Mental Condition of 50,000 School Children, with
Suggestions for the Better Education and Care of Feeble-Minded Children
and Adults. (Charity Organization). London, 1893. xii, 159 pp. 8vo.

369. The Epileptic and Crippled Child and Adult. London, 1893. xxi, 132
pp. 8vo.

370. TILTE, M.: Die Geschichte der deutschen Weihnacht. Leipzig, 1894.

371. TRACY, F.: The Psychology of Childhood. Sec. Ed. Boston, 1894.
xiii, 107 pp. 8vo.

372. TREICHEL, A.: Provinzielle Sprache zu und von Thieren und ihre
Namen. _Alt-Preuss. Monatsschr_. XXIX. Bd., Hefte I., II.

373. TREICHEL, A.: Zungenübungen aus Preussen. _Am Ur-Quell_. V.
Bd. (1894), S. 122-126, 144-148, 180-182, 222-224.

374. TUCKER, ELIZABETH S.: Children of Colonial Days. New York, 1894.

375. TUCKWELL, Mrs. G. M.: The State and its Children. London, 1894.

376. TYLOR E. B.: Wild Men and Beast Children. _Anthrop. Rev_.
(London). Vol. I. (1863), pp. 21-32.

377. TYLOR, E. B.: Remarks on the Geographical Distribution of Games.
_Journ. Anthr. Inst._ (London). Vol. IX. (1879), pp. 23-30.

378. VOSTROVSKY, CLARA: A Study of Children's Imaginary Companions.
_Education_ (Boston). Vol. XV. (1895), pp. 393-398.

379. WHITTIER, J. G.: Child-Life. A Collection of Poems. Edited by J. G.
Whittier. Boston, n.d. xii, 263 pp. Gr. 8vo.

380. WHITTIER, J. G.: Child-Life in Prose. Boston, n.d.

381. WIEDEMANN, A.: Kinderehe bei den alten AEgyptern. _Am
Ur-Quell_. VI. Bd. (1895), S. 3-4.

382. WIGGIN, KATE D.: Children's Eights. A Book of Nursery Logic. Boston
and New York, 1893. 235 pp. 16mo.

383. Wild Babies. _Harper's Monthly_ (New York). Vol. LVII. (1878),
pp. 829-838.

384. WILTSE, SARAH E.: The Place of the Story in Early Education, and
Other Essays. Boston, 1892. vi, 137 pp. 8vo.

385. WINTERNITZ, M.: Das Kind bei den Juden. _Am Ur-Quell_. II. Bd.
(1891), S. 5-7, 34-36.

386. WOSSIDLO, R.: Volksthümliches aus Mecklenburg. De Jung [Pro-
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III. Bd. (1890), S. 75-77.

387. YODER, A. H.: The Study of the Boyhood of Great Men. _Pedag.
Sem._ Vol. III. (1894-5), pp. 134-156.

Following is a subject-index of titles under Section B:--

Abandoned children, 28.
Abnormal man, 188, 197, 303.
Adolescence, 196.
Adoption, 280.
Age of consent, 180.
American Indians, 211, 222, 223, 226, 227, 239, 267, 302, 306, 816, 358,
Animals, 276, 372.
Animal-reared children, 183, 376.
"April fool," 324.
Arabia, 289.
Art and poetry, 320.
Assyria, 290.

Babylonia, 290.
Birth-customs, etc., 241, 311, 316, 354.
Birth-myths, 343, 366.
Bogies, 203, 275.
Boys of Bible, 304.
Boyhood of genius, 387.
Brittany, 299.
Brooklyn, 212.

California, 184.
Ceremonial, 235, 279, 361.
Character, 216, 319.
Child and race, 182.
Child-god, 344.
Child and state, 312, 375.
Child as--witness, 334.
Childhood in literature, 346-350.
Child-criminal, 307.
Child-life, 178, 180 a, 184, 189, 197, 209, 221, 225, 227, 246, 266,
283, 283 a, 325, 326, 329, 333, 342, 353, 363, 374, 383, 385.
Child-marriages, 234, 317, 338 a, 367, 381.
Child-psychology, 252, 259, 301, 305, 310, 336, 365, 371.
Children of New Testament, 360.
Child-study, 254, 378.
Chirography, 240.
Christ, 285.
Christmas, 190, 207, 261, 315, 339, 370.
Cradles, 306.

Defectives and delinquents, 197, 314, 368, 369.
Deformations, 229, 331.
Diminutives, 202, 219.
Dolls, 226.

Education, 257, 288-298.
Egypt, 179, 288, 381.
England, 243, 349.

Fairy-tales, stories, 192, 245, 258, 302, 356, 384.
Folk-lore, 246, 284, 321, 355.
Fosterage, 357.
France, 219.

Games and songs, 181, 186, 187, 198, 199, 212, 213, 217, 222, 233, 242,
243, 260, 265, 267, 269, 277, 313, 330, 332 a, 377.
Genius, 178, 300, 387.
Germany, 315, 354, 366, 370, 386.
Girlhood, 178, 228, 282.
Greece, 296-7, 346.

Hair-cutting, 280.
Hygiene, 210, 330.
Hungary, 277.

Imitation, 260.
India, 183, 248, 290, 309.
Infanticide, 218.
Infant-prodigies, 304, 345.
Insects, 340.
Ireland, 243.

Japan, 180 a, 189, 245.
Jews, 298, 342, 361 a, 385.
Justice, 271, 323, 341.

Kabylia, 299.
Kaspar Hauser, 208, 309.

Language, 193, 200, 201, 205, 206, 249, 250, 257, 262, 263, 275, 281,
332, 372, 373.
Lies, 253.
Loyalty Is., 241.
Lullabies, 362.

Measurements, 237, 244, 299.
Medicine, 322.
Mental evolution, 182, 194, 211, 338.
Miracles, 179.
Morals, 179.
Mother and child, 268.

Nature, 264.
New England, 221.
New York, 197.

Paris, 209.
Persia, 291.
Phoenicians, 290.
Physical education, 327, 328.
Physiognomy, 204.
Poetry for and about children, 176, 177, 195, 224, 226 a, 230, 247, 336a,
337, 359, 379.
Proverbs, 220, 386.
Public life, 232.
Puberty, 214.

Regeneration, 214.
Religion, 184 a, 231, 253, 358.
Rights, 215, 382.
Rome, 297, 312, 346.
Russia, 327, 328, 330.
Sacrifice, 218, 228, 278,
Savagery, 273.
Scotland, 243.
Servia, 279.
Secret languages, 206, 281.
Sicily, 321, 322, 323.
Silesia, 284.
Slavonic, 218, 280.
Sociology, 270, 272, 255, 378.
Stork, 198 a.
Studentdom, 185, 364.
Swallow, 198.

Twins, 223.

United States, 180.

Voice, 238.

Washington, D.C., 181.
Weighing, 236, 238.
Wild children, 335.

Younger son, 351.


388. D'ALVIELLA, COUNT GOBLET: Lectures on the Origin and Growth of the
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389. American Anthropologist (Washington): Vols. I.-VIII. (1888-1895).

390. American Notes and Queries (Phila.) Vols. I.-VI. (1888-1891).

391. Am Urdhs-Brunnen (Dahrenwurth bei Lunden, Holstein). I.-VII. Bde.

392. Am Ur-Quell (Lunden). I.-VI. Bde. (1890-1895). Continuation of No.

393. ANDERSEN, HANS C.: Fairy Tales and Stories. (Transl. Dr. H. W.
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394. ASTON, W. G.: Japanese Onomatopes and the Origin of Language.
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395. BAGEHOT, W.: Physics and Politics. New York, 1887.

396. BANCROFT, H. H.: The Native Races of the Pacific Coast. 5 vols. New
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397. BARTELS, M.: Die Medicin der Naturvolker: Ethnologische Beitrage
zur Urgeschichte der Medicin. Leipzig, 1893. 361 S. 8vo.

398. BASTIAN, A.: Zur naturwissenschaftlichen Behandlungsweise der
Psychologie durch und filr die Volkerkunde. Berlin, 1883. xxxviii, 230
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399. BASTIAN, A.: Die Seele indischer und hellenischer Philosophie in
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400. BEKGEN, FANNY D.: Popular American Plant-Names. _Jour. Amer.
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401. BLACK, W. G.: Folk-Medicine: A Chapter in the History of Culture.
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402. BOAS, F.: The Central Eskimo. _Sixth Ann. Hep. Bur. Ethnol._
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403. BOAS, F.: British Association for the Advancement of Science.
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404. BOAS, F.: Sixth Report, etc. Second General Report on the Indians
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405. BOAS, F.: Seventh Report, etc. London, 1891. 43 pp. 8vo.

405 a. BOLTON, T. L.: Rhythm. _Amer. Jour. Psychol._ Vol. VI., pp.

406. BOURKE, J. G.: The Medicine-Men of the Apaches. _Ninth, Ann. Rep.
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407. BOURKE, J. G.: Popular Medicine, Customs and Superstitions of the
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408. BRAND, J.: Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great
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409. BRINTON, D. G.: The Myths of the New World. A Treatise on the
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410. BRINTON, D. G.: American Hero-Myths. A Study in the Native
Religions of the Western Continent. Philadelphia, 1882. 261 pp. 8vo.

411. BRINTON, D. G.: Essays of an Americanist. Philadelphia, 1890. 489
pp. 8vo.

412. BRINTON, D. G.: The American Race. A Linguistic Classification and
Description of the Native Tribes of North and South America. New York,
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413. BRINTON, D. G.: Nagualism. A Study in Native American Folk-Lore and
History. Philadelphia, 1894. 65 pp. 8vo.

414. BKINTON, D. G.: Ancient Nahuatl Poetry. Philadelphia, 1887. viii,
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415. BUSK, R. H.: The Folk-Lore of Rome. London, 1874.

416. BUSK, R. H.: The Valleys of Tirol, Their Traditions, etc. London,

417. CALLAWAY, Rev. Canon: Religious System of the Amazulu. London,
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418. CHAMBERLAIN, A. F.: The Prehistoric Naturalist. _University
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419. CHAMBERLAIN, A. F.: Nanibozhu among the Otchipwe, Mississagas, and
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420. CLARK, W. P.: The Indian Sign-Language, etc. Philadelphia, 1885.
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421. CLODD, E.: The Childhood of Religions. New York, 1883. 5lpp. 8vo.

422. CLOUSTON, W. A.: Popular Tales and Fictions; Their Migrations and
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423. CRAWFORD, J. M.: The Kalevala. New York, 1888. 2 vols. 8vo.

423 a. CULIN, S.: Notes of Palmistry in China and Japan. _Overl.
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424. CUSHING, F. H.: Zuni Fetiches. _Sec. Ann. Rep. Bur. of
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425. DAWSON, G. M.: Notes on the Shushwap People of British Columbia.
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426. DAY, LAL BEHARI: Folk-Tales of Bengal. London, 1889. VII., 284 pp.

427. DE GUBERNATIS, A.: Zoological Mythology, or the Legends of Animals.
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428. DE GUBERNATIS, A.: La Mythologie des Plantes, ou Legendes du Regne
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432. DODGE, R. I.: Our Wild Indians. Hartford, Conn., 1890. xxxix, 653
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433. DORSET, J. O.: A Study of Siouan Cults. _Eleventh Ann. Rep. Bur.
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434. DOUGLAS, R. K.: Confucianism and Taouism. London (S. P. C. K.),
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435. DYER, T. F. T.: The Folk-Lore of Plants. New York, 1889. 328 pp.

436. DYER, T. F. T.: Church-Lore Gleanings. London, 1891. vi, 352pp.

437. EELLS, REV. M.: The Twana Indians of the Skokomish Reservation in
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438. ELLIS, A. B.: The Tshi-speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast of West
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439. ELLIS, HAVELOCK: The Criminal. London, 1890. viii, 337 pp. 8vo.

440. EMERSON, ELLEN R.: Indian Myths, or Legends, Traditions, and
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Countries. Boston, 1884. xviii, 667 pp. 8vo.

441. ERMAN, A.: Aegypten und aegyptisches Leben im Altertum. 2 Bde.
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442. FARRAR, F. W.: The Life of Christ as Represented in Art. New York,

443. FEWKES, J. W.: A Summer Ceremonial at the Tusayan Pueblos.
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444. FEWKES, J. W.: The Na-ác-nai-ya: A Tusayan Initiation Ceremony.
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445. FLETCHEE, ALICE C.: Indian Songs. Personal Studies of Indian Life.
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446. FLETCHER, ALICE C.: A Study of Omaha Music, etc. _Archoeol. and
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447. FLETCHEE, R.: Myths of the Robin Redbreast in Early English Poetry.
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448. FOLKARD, RICHARD, JR.: Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics, embracing
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449. Folk-Lore Journal (London). Vol. VII. (1889).

450. FRAZER, J. G.: The Golden Bough. A Study in Comparative Religion. 2
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451. FRAZER, J. G.: Totemism. Edinburgh, 1887. viii, 96 pp.

451 a. FRAZER, J. G.: Primitive Theories of the Soul. _Journ. Anthr.
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452. FREYTAG, L.: Pflanzen-Aberglauben in den Alpen. _Am Urdhs-
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454. FRISCHBIER, H.: Volksglauben aus Preussen. I. Kindheit. _Am
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456 a. GERBER, A.: Great Russian Animal Tales. _Public Mod. Lang.
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459. GILL, W. W.: The South Pacific and New Guinea, Past and Present.
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460. GOMME, G. L.: Ethnology in Folk-Lore. New York, 1892. vii, 203 pp.

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463. GRIMM, GEBR.: Kinder- und Haus-Märchen gesammelt durch die Gebr.
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466 a. HAAS, A.: Rügensche Sagen und Märchen. Greifswald, 1891.

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521. RAND, S. T.: Legends of the Micmaos. New York and London, 1894.
xlvi, 452 pp. 8vo.

522. RAU, C.: Von Martius on Some Points of South American Ethnology.
_Journ. Anthrop. Inst._ (New York). Vol. I. (1871-72), pp. 43-46.

523. RECLUS, E.: Primitive Folk. Studies in Comparative Ethnology.
London, 1890. xiv, 339 pp. 8vo.

524. RIGGS, S. R.: Dakota Grammar, Texts, and Ethnography (Contrib. to
North Amer. Ethnol., Vol. IX.). Washington, 1893. 239pp. 4to.

525. RINK, H.: Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo. London, 1874. xiii,
472 pp. 8vo.

526. ROLLAND, E.: Faune Populaire de la France. 6 vols. Paris, 1877-

527. ROSKOFF, G.: Das Religionswesen der rohesten Naturvolker. Leipzig,
1880. xiv, 179 S. 8vo.

528. SARTORI, P.: Sondersprachen. _Am Ur-Quell._ V. Bd. (1894), S.
72-78, 99-100.

529. SCHULTZE, F.: Fetichism. A Contribution to Anthropology and the
History of Religion. Trans. J. Fitzgerald. New York, 1885. 112 pp. 8vo.

530. SCHURTZ, H.: Grundzuge einer Philosophic der Tracht. Stuttgart,
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531. SESSIONS, F.: Three Epics of Heroes (Folk-Lore Topics, No. 1).
Repr. from _Gloucester_ (England) _Journal_, Jan. 6, 1894. 8

532. SIMROOK, K.: Deutsche Mythologie. Sechste durchgeseh. Aufl. Bonn,
1887. xii, 643 S. 8vo.

533. SIMSON, A..Notes on the Jivaros and Canelos Indians. _Journ.
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534. SMITH, MRS. E. A.: Myths of the Iroquois. _Sec. Ann. Rep. Bur. of
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535. SMITH, W. R.: Lectures on the Religion of the Semites. First
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_American Anthropologist_.
_American Notes and Queries_.
_Am Urdhs-Srunnen_.
_Am Ur-Quell_.
_Arabian Nights_.
Arnim (v.).

Bolton (H. C.).
Bolton (T. L.).
Brewer (J. C.).
Brewer (W. H.).
Browning (E. B.).
Browning (R.).

_Catholic World_.
G. F. P.
_Century Dictionary_.
_Century Magazine_.
Chamberlain (A. F.).
Chamberlain (B. H.).
Chantimpre (de).
Coleridge (H.).
Coleridge (S. T.).
_Current Literature_.

Darmesteter (Mrs.).
Darwin (C.).
Darwin (E.).
De Gubernatis.
De Meung.
De Quincey.
De Vere.
_Dialect Notes_.
Dio Cassius.
Du Vair.

Ellis (A. B.).
Ellis (H.).
Ellis (W.).
Emerson (Mrs. E. E.).
Emerson (R. W.).

Fischer, 20.
Fletcher (Miss A. C.).
Fleteher (R.).
_Folk-Lore Journal_.

Gomme (Miss A.).
Gomme (L.).
Grimm (J.).

Hall (Bishop).
Hall (G. S.).
Han Wân-Rung.
Hartmann von Aue.
Held (v.).
Henne am Rhyn.

Im Thurn.

Jean Paul (Richter).
Johnson (G. E.).
Johnson (J. H.).
Johnson (S.).
_Journal of American_.
_Journ. of Anthrop. Inst._

La Bruyère.
La Rochefoucauld.
Le Play.
Lombroso (C.).
Lombroso (P.).
Lope de Vega.
Luke, (St.).

_Macmillan's Magazine_.
Marco Polo.
Martins (v.).
Matthew (St.).
Meung (de).
Miller (J.).
Miller (W.).
Müller (F. Max).
Müller (J. G.).



Paul (St.).
Petronius Arbiter.
_Philosophical Magazine_.
Pliny (Elder).
Pliny (Younger).
Polydore Virgil.
Popular Science Monthly.
_Psychological Review_.
_Public Opinion_.

_Quarterly Review_.

Ricnter (see Jean Paul).

Scott (C. N.).
Scott (W.).
Smith (E.).
Smith (J.).
Smith (R.).
Smith (S. F.).
Soest (v.).
Steineu (v. den).
St. Francis.
St. Pierre.
Swinburne (A. C.).
Swinburne (Judge).
"Sylvanus Urban."

_Toldoth Jesu_.
Trumbull (H. C.).
Turner (G.).
Turner (L. N.).

Vere (de).

_World Almanac_.






Ainu (Ainos).
Algonkian (Algonquin).
Andaman Islands.
Annam (Annamites).
Arabia (Arabs).
Ararat, Mt.
Armenia (Armenian).
Asia Minor.
Australia (Australians).
Aztecs (see Nahuatl, Mexico).

Baffin Land.
Banks Islands.
Bengal (Bengalese).
Bilqula (Bella Coola).
Blackfoot (Blackfeet).
Bornoo (Bornu).
British Columbia.
Brittany (Breton).
Burma (Burmese).
Buryats (Buriats).

Canary Islands.
Cape Breton.
Cape York.
Celts (Celtic).
Central America.
China (Chinese).
Chippeway (Ojibwa).
Cornwall (Cornish).

Denmark (Danish).

East Indies.
Egypt (Egyptian).
England (English).
Eskimo (Esquimaux).
Esthonia (Esthonian).

Fernando Po.
Finland (Finns).
Flat Heads.
France (French).

Germany (German).
Gothic (Goths).
Greece (Greek).

Hare Indians.
Hawaii (Hawaiian).
Hebrews (Jews).
Hervey Islands.
Hindus (Hindoos).
Hungary (Hungarian).

Iceland (Icelandic).
Indians, American (see also various tribal names).
Ireland (Irish).
Italy (Italian).

Japan (Japanese).
Jews (see Hebrews).

Kabylia (Kabyles).
Kaffirs (Kafirs).
Káto Pomo.
Kei Islands.
Kiché (Quiché).
Kingsmill Islands.
Kols (Kolhs).

Latin (Roman).
Low German.
Lowland Scotch.

Makusi (Macusi).
Marquesas Islands.
Mexico (Mexican).
Modocs (Modok).
Mohammedans (Moslems).
Moki (Moqui).
Monbuttu (Monboddo).
Monte Pulciano.
Moslems (Muslim, Mussulmans).
Munda Kols.
Nahuatl (Aztec).
Navajos (Navahos).
Neo-Latin (Romance).
New England.
New Guinea.
New Hampshire.
New Hebrides.
New Jersey.
New Mexico.
New York.
New Zealand.
Nilgiris (Neilgherries).
North Carolina.
Norway (Norwegian).
Nova Scotia.

Ojibwa (see Chippeway).

Panjâb (Punjab).
Peake River.
Pelew Islands.
Persia (Persian).
Peru (Peruvian).
Philippine Islands.
Portugal (Portuguese).
Pt. Barrow.
Pueblos Indians.

Queen Charlotte Islands.
Quichés (Kichés).

Rhode Island.
Rio Grande.
Rio Nunez.
Rome (Roman).
Russia (Russian).

Scotland (Scotch).
Semites (Semitic).
Servia (Servian).
Sicily (Sicilian).
Sierra Leone.
Siouan (Sioux).
Slavonian (Slavonic).
Society Islands.
Sollinger Wald.
Solomon Islands.
South America.
South Carolina.
Spain (Spanish).
St. Ives.
St. Petersburg.
Sweden (Swedish).
Switzerland (Swiss).

Tierra del Fuego.
Timbuktu (Timbuctoo).
Tshi (see Ashanti).

Uliase Islands.
United States.

Vancouver Island.

Wales (Welsh).

Yezo (Yesso).




Actions, goddess of.
Activities of childhood.
Acting (actor).
[Greek: _adelphos_].
Age of consent.
  of marriage.
"All Fools'Day."
_Alma mater._
_Alumna, alumnus._
Amicus and Amelias.
Amun (Amon).
Angakok (child).
  and Christ.
Answers (parents').
[Greek: _anthropos_].
Ararat, Mt.
_Arm's length._
Awakening of soul.

B. A.
"Babes in wood."
"Babies in eyes."
"Babies' breath."
"Babies' feet."
Babies' food.
"Babies' slippers."
Babies' souls.
"Babies' toes."
--signs for.
--words for.
"Baby blue-eyes."
Bambino, Santo.
Band of Hope.
Bands of Mercy.
"Barbara Allen."
B. D.
_Bear_ (to).
"Beating the Bounds."
"Billing and cooing."
--of Christ.
Birth, birth-myths.
--of Christ.
"Black art."
Blackness of raven.
_Blason populaire._
"Blind-man's buff."
"Blood-clot Boy."
"Bloody Tom."
_Blow_ (to).
"Blue-eyed babies."
Blue-ribbon Clubs.
_Bona dea._
"Boo Man."
Born (to be).
--"medicine man."
Boyish excesses.
"Boys and Girls."
Boys' Clubs.
"Boys' love."
"Bread and butter."
"Bremen geese."
"Brew and Bake."
Bridal of earth and sky.
Bridle (tongue).
Brightness of sun.
Bright side of child-life.
Brother (bone).
Buried armies.

_Carduus marianus_.
Casting dice.
"Cat's cradle."
"Chandelle magique."
Changes at school.
Chemical terms.
Child lot-caster.
  and father.
  and fire.
  and mother.
  and music.
  and nature.
  and race.
  and rhythm.
Child and spirit-world.
  and woman.
  in art.
  in ceremonial.
  in language.
  in moon.
  in _proverbs_.
  in religion.
  in school.
Childhood and age.
  in art and literature.
Childhood's golden age.
Children and fools.
  as stars.
"Children of God."
"Children of hand."
"Children of Light."
"Children of Paul's."
"Children of sun."
Children's animals and birds.
  flowers and plants.
Children's souls.
Child's kiss.
"Chip of old block."
Christening letter.
Chrysostom, St.
Church and children.
Clocks (flower).
Code of honour.
Cold water.
Colleges, primitive.
Colonies (boy).
Comparisons with animals.
  with plants.
Confusion of tongues.
Consent, age of.
Contents of mind.
"Corn-stalk fiddle."
Counsel, god of.
Counting, goddess of.
Counting-out rhymes.
Cries of animals.
  of birds.
Crowing of babies.
  of cock.
"Crying for Moon."
Crying, god of.

"Daddy darkness."
"Davie daylicht."
Days of week.
Dead child.
_Dea mens._
Deformed children.
_Der arme Heinrich._
_catus pater._
Devil's grandmother.
Discovery of medicine.